Proficiency in the English language is an essential skill for international students looking to get into top universities in the United States and elsewhere abroad. We take studies in English Language Learning (ELL) seriously—and we take an individualized approach to understand where each student is at, where they’re trying to get to, and equipping them every step of the way for success. Preparing students to score well on the TOEFL test is a top priority for international students and their future, and we prepare them in a way that sticks and leads to success.

An Approach That Works

While many ELL programs focus on conversational vocabulary building, our system is different. Students at Wasatch from many different backgrounds—native English speakers and those who are still learning—form a tightly knit community that encourages and helps individuals to grow. In this intimate community, ELL students typically are quick to pick up on conversational English with the help of their peers. International students never room with someone who speaks their native language.  It makes them use English to talk to their roommate and leads to improvement in speaking English. It’s the technical vocabulary where students often struggle most, such as specific terms and phrases used in the sciences or the humanities. This is why many of our ELL courses are focused around technical language skills that are relevant to what the students are studying in their current classes.

The four primary language communication skills targeted in our ELL programs are:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking

We have three separate tiers in our ELL language program for students who are at different levels of proficiency.  They are:

  • Tier I: Students experience a classroom setting specifically for ELL learners. Like most of our ELL classes, these are subject-based courses in the sciences, social studies, and English literature.
  • Tier II: ELL students are integrated into regular subject courses in the sciences, social studies, and so forth along with students who are not in the ELL program. These courses have a co-teacher who is strictly part of the ELL program who helps address educational needs of these language-learning students. ELL students in this level will have a vocabulary and context review with their ELL teacher about the course’s subject matter so that they can be prepared to actively participate in their integrated courses.
  • Tier III: An extension of the Tier II model, ELL students who have reached this level in their language learning are given more independence in when they seek help with vocabulary building in preparation for specific subject matter. An ELL co-teacher will still remain an active participant in their classes, or else they will have a teacher who has been actively trained on how to address ELL students effectively.

Primary Courses Offered at Wasatch Academy

Some of our primary courses within the ELL program include:

  • Beginning and Advanced Reading
  • Grammar I, II, III
  • Composition I, II
  • Listening and Pronunciation
  • American Culture
  • Current Events
  • TOEFL Preparation
  • Transition Classes
  • Global Studies
  • English I, II
  • Physical Science
  • SAT/ACT Preparation