Courses

IEP has five levels of instruction, ranging from Level 1 (beginning) to Level 5 (advanced). During orientation, you’ll take a placement test and be placed in an appropriate level for you.

In Levels 1, 2 and 3, core courses are required. In Levels 4 and 5, students take a mix of required courses and electives.  

Level 1 

Reading & Writing 1

In this two-hour course, students will learn reading, writing and grammar needed to understand basic texts. They will also learn new vocabulary and write about different topics with an emphasis on using correct grammar appropriate to the level.

Reading, Speaking & Listening 1

This two-hour course focuses on the reading, listening and speaking skills needed to read faster, understand more vocabulary, identify main ideas, talk about personal experiences and improve pronunciation.

Level 2 

Grammar & Writing 2

In this two-hour course, students will increase writing fluency. They will learn basic sentence structures and will write sentences and paragraphs using different verb tenses. They will practice describing people, places, things and events in writing.

Listening & Speaking 2

This course focuses on English for conversation in social situations. Students learn and practice the skills needed for having informal conversations and describing personal experiences.

Reading 2

Students develop language building strategies and practice many ways to read more fluently in English. They also increase their vocabulary and improve their understanding of English grammar.

Level 3 

Grammar & Writing 3

In this two-hour course, students will increase their writing fluency. They will learn different grammatical structures and will use them in their writing. They will write paragraphs for a variety of purposes, explaining personal opinions, reasons and examples.

Listening & Speaking 3

This course focuses on English used for gathering information and expressing opinions in social and classroom situations. Students practice gathering information and opinions, organizing and reporting on gathered information, and identifying a speaker's main ideas and intentions.

Reading 3

Students practice being active, fluent readers of English, especially to expand on ideas they read. As students develop successful language building and reading strategies, they talk and write about a variety of topics. At the same time, students increase their vocabulary and improve their understanding of English grammar.

Level 4 

Academic Reading & Writing 4

In this two-hour course, students actively read and respond to college-level readings. At the same time, they improve their reading fluency and critical thinking skills. Students communicate their ideas about readings in paragraph and multi-paragraph academic compositions. They also develop their knowledge of academic vocabulary.

Listening & Speaking 4

This course focuses on English used for analyzing and responding to information in social and classroom situations. Students practice listening, understanding how parts of a message relate to the whole, connecting information to personal knowledge and logically supporting their opinions.

Multigenre Writing 4

Students develop their ability to write expressively for different purposes, contexts, and audiences. They explore how tone, structure and vocabulary are used in various types of writing. The focus of the course is on exposure to a variety of genres, not mastery. Some examples of the types of writing that students may practice are letters/email, biographies, interview scripts, stories, plays and poetry. Students also develop self-editing skills and learn the importance of the writing process.

Reading Skills 4

For many students, this course serves as a bridge between Reading 3 and Academic Reading & Writing 4. Students improve their reading skills and vocabulary while reading academic-style texts. The goal of the course is to prepare students for success in Academic Reading & Writing 4 as well as other level 5 university preparation courses.

Level 5 

Level 5 is divided into two quarters: the Foundation Quarter and the Capstone Quarter. 

Completion of the Foundation Quarter satisfies the English language proficiency requirements at some of our partner universities, including: 

Completion of the Capstone Quarter satisfies the English proficiency requirements at the UW Graduate School and at Seattle University

Foundation Quarter 

In the Foundation Quarter, you take the two core courses below and one upper elective course or UW undergraduate course.

Academic Presentation Skills 5

In this one-hour course, students practice the skills needed to make presentations in American university classrooms. They learn how to give presentations for different situations, from individual to group presentations. They also develop better pronunciation, language accuracy, and competence in speaking about academic topics.

Academic Reading & Writing 5

This is a two-hour course that integrates the reading and writing skills that students will need in a university or college class. Students will develop skills to comprehend, analyze, synthesize and evaluate academic reading passages. They will demonstrate their comprehension and critical thinking skills by writing researched, organized, and correctly documented papers. Basic library research skills will be introduced at this level.

Capstone Quarter  

In the Capstone Quarter, you’ll take the three core courses below and one upper elective course or UW undergraduate course.  

Academic Listening & Writing 5

This course is designed to prepare students for the listening and writing skills needed to succeed in an American college classroom. Students learn strategies for listening and taking notes during college lectures, answering different types of test questions, and working with other students.

Academic Reading & Speaking 5

This course is designed to prepare students for the reading and speaking skills needed in an American college classroom. Students improve their reading, discussion, pronunciation, and fluency skills and demonstrate comprehension and critical thinking through speaking.

Applied Academic Skills 5

This course is considered a capstone for students completing the Intensive English Program. AAS is a thematically based content course that introduces students to the type of assignments, projects and activities they will encounter in college. Students use critical thinking skills to understand, evaluate and apply information from class readings and lectures.

Upper-Level Elective Course List 

Advanced Conversation

In this course, students expand their awareness of the cultural norms for American conversations. They will increase their fluency and range of expressions, enhance skills in discussing personal knowledge and opinions, and apply critical thinking skills in conversation.

Advanced Vocabulary & Idioms

This course is designed for students who want to improve their vocabulary. About 60% of the course focuses on written skills and the rest on oral skills. Two-thirds of the time will be devoted to vocabulary development and one-third to acquiring idioms. Offered autumn and spring quarters only.

American Culture Through Film

This course uses film as a medium to explore various aspects of American culture. In addition to watching films, both in and out of the classroom, students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The course examines several cultural topics as well as language patterns in everyday speech.

American Culture Through Film

This course uses film as a medium to explore various aspects of American culture. In addition to watching films, both in and out of the classroom, students develop skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The course examines several cultural topics as well as language patterns in everyday speech.

IELTS Preparation

This course is designed for students who are planning to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam. The course is appropriate for those preparing for both the Academic and General Training test types. It focuses on test preparation, with a particular emphasis on understanding the organization of the test as well as on the specific types of questions that students will encounter on the exam. The course also includes test-taking strategies specific to the IELTS. Offered autumn and spring quarters only.

Grammar 5

In this course, students study advanced-level syntax in an explicit, focused manner and apply this knowledge to communicative tasks. The emphasis is on producing complex English sentences and on developing critical thinking skills by synthesizing and evaluating ideas from a variety of sources.

Independent Writing

This course is for students who would like to continue improving their writing skills beyond the paragraph stage. Students have the opportunity to define individual writing objectives, such as multiple-paragraph essay writing, research papers, business communication and creative writing. During the first week, general writing skills are taught to the whole class. For the rest of the quarter, students work through individual and group writing tasks, conferencing with the teacher when appropriate.

Listening & Speaking 5

This course focuses on English used for evaluating information in social and classroom situations. Students practice the language needed to examine the relationships among ideas; distinguish between facts, opinions and assumptions; and make conclusions and predictions.

Multigenre Reading and Writing 5

In this two-hour course, students examine many genres of reading and writing and analyze how style, structure and vocabulary are used and influence one another. Students also complete a multigenre project, which includes a collection of writings about a topic or theme that personally engages them. Students expand their writing skills, broaden their knowledge and appreciation for different genres, and use their creativity to express themselves in a way that is personally meaningful. The focus is on expressive rather than expository writing.

News

Students use news from a variety of sources — newspapers, television, Internet, magazines and radio — to improve their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills. Offered winter and summer quarters only.

American Culture Through Music

This course introduces students to musical genres and styles found in the historical and contemporary United States. Students explore various topics in American history and culture through American music. Students develop their language skills in all areas (reading, writing, listening and speaking) as they cover class material, as well as by making connections with their own musical interests and expressing themselves.

Pronunciation

This course helps students improve their overall pronunciation skills by isolating the individual components of speech and training students in how to improve these components. Emphasis is on intonation, rhythm, stress, and vowel and consonant production.

TOEFL Preparation

This course helps students in preparing for the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). It includes skill-building exercises as well as specific strategies for the test. Offered winter and summer quarters only.

Business Courses

Students interested in business courses can explore our offerings in Introduction to Business English and Advanced Business English. To learn more, contact us.

Accelerated Track 

Students who have an undergraduate degree and a TOEFL iBT score of 84–91 or an IELTS score of 6.5 can complete Level 5 in one quarter (25 hours per week). If you meet these requirements and want to learn more about the Accelerated Track, contact us.   

Instructors 

instructor and student

IEP courses are taught by experienced instructors from UW International & English Language Programs. All have advanced degrees.