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Intensive ESL Program (IEP)

English Language and Culture Institute (ELCI)

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ELCI is designed to teach English in a way that goes beyond passing a test. Classes and activities are designed for international students who are preparing to enter a university or graduate program in the U.S. In addition to standard writing, reading, listening and speaking, classes will help students understand best practices for being successful in a university. Classes are interactive and allow students to develop their language skills while practicing English in real situations. The class size is under 15 on average. Get your English proficiency at a University where your coursework is designed with University integration in mind.

New for Fall 2020

8 Week Sessions for Fall and Spring Semesters

Fall 2020

  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come
  • 1st session begins August 19, 2020
  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 2nd session begins October 12, 2020

Spring 2021

  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 1st session begins January 11, 2021
  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 2nd session begins March 8, 2021
Optional Start on Campus or Online  
Students who need additional English practice to qualify for full admission at the undergraduate or graduate level may sign up for an Intensive English Program at SDSU’s English Language and Culture Institute. Small classes and personalized instruction prepares students for the challenges of degree study on the SDSU campus.
21 Hours per Week
  • 8 hours - Listening and Speaking
  • 8 hours - Reading and Writing
  • 3 hours - Culture
  • 2 hours - Communication Workshop
Beginner to Intermediate Levels

Level I

  • Exploring World Perspectives (reading, writing)
  • American Culture & Diversity
  • Communicating Meaning (listening, speaking)
  • Communication Workshop

Level II

  • Writing for College & Beyond (reading, writing)
  • International Civic Engagement
  • Communicating with Academic Audiences (listening, speaking)
  • Communication Workshop
Global Foundations Program for Advanced Levels

The Global Foundations Program is a rigorous course of English language study that replaces that advanced level of ELCI, allowing students to earn credits while building foundations in English. Students must meet admission requirements for advanced levels. Go to the Global Foundations Program.

English Prerequisites

No language proficiency scores are required for ELCI admission. For students without English Proficiency scores, an assessment will be done upon arrival. The following are the general guidelines or recommendations for pre-admission to a specific level:

  • Level 1: TOEFL up to 44 and 4.0 IELTS recommended 
  • Level 2: TOEFL of 52 and 5.0 on IELTS equivalent

Qualified undergrad applicants will receive conditional admissions to SDSU upon completing the Global Foundations. Grad applicants will prepare for standardized English proficiency exam to meet the language requirements for their specific program.

Why choose SDSU?

  • University collaboration throughout departments on campus
  • Pathway to nationally recognized programs at an affordable price
  • Connect with your intended program before you begin 
  • Learn about support services designed for all students' success

Class Schedule

  • 8 hours - Listening and Speaking
  • 8 hours - Reading and Writing
  • 3 hours - Culture
  • 2 hours - Communication Workshop

Dates                                                

Fall 2020

  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 1st session begins August 19, 2020
  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 2nd session begins October 12, 2020

Spring 2021

  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 1st session begins January 11, 2021
  • International Student Orientation on campus: more information to come. 
  • 2nd session begins March 8, 2021

What students are saying about the ELCI

“It’s the best study experience I ever had because the teachers are like friends and the English knowledge I learned from this program is like a gift not a task for me.” – ELCI Undergraduate Student, China, Spring 2015

“In my first class, my teacher asked me to take out a sheet of paper, but I didn’t understand anything she said. Now, I can fill up an entire notebook. I can’t believe how much my English has improved.” – ELCI Undergraduate Student, Saudi Arabia, Spring 2015                                                  


Referral Discounts

Referral discounts: Students who successfully refer an additional student enrolled in at least 13 hours may be eligible for a discount during the current semester of attendance.