As in any American university, English is the principal language used by professors, administration, and students.
The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program prepares students whose first language is not English to reach the level of proficiency needed to succeed in Saint Louis University’s degree programs.
All students who have not been educated in an English-speaking system, must take a TOEFL (or equivalent exam) in order to be admitted and/or placed within our programs. For more information, see ESL Placement & Test Equivalencies.
The ESL 1010/1110 integrated skills classes are obligatory for all students in the ESL program, and provide specific preparation for the TOEFL exam.
The ESL 1020/1120 written Expression courses are obligatory for all students in the ESL program, and provide specific preparation for the TWE essay.
The ESL Focus Classes are aimed to provide specific skills for ESL students, and may be subject-based (English through Nature, English through Business and Communications etc.) or skill-based (Intensive Grammar, English through reading etc.).
The Advanced Intermediate Level (ESL 1010)
Students with TOEFL PBT below 500 are required to take ESL 1010 M01 and ESL 1020 M01, and between 2 and 4 ESL focus classes depending on their score.
Only students with scores above 480 may take non-ESL classes that are not language-based (for example, MATH 1200, ITM 2000, and CMM 2550), unless they are Spanish speakers, in which case they may choose to take one of the courses that we offer in that language.
The ESL 101 level is more or less equivalent to a high A2 or low B1 level as defined by the European Framework of Languages.
The Advanced Level (ESL 1110)
Students with TOEFL PBT scores of over 500 are required to take ESL 1110 M01 and ESL 1120 M01, and between 0 and 3 focus classes depending on their level.
Students should consult their advisor to see what non-ESL courses they may take.
The ESL 1110 level is more or less equivalent to a high B1 or low B2 level as defined by the European Framework of Languages.
The ESL classes are graded Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U), and thus do not affect a student’s GPA, although they do appear on the academic transcript.
The academic norms of the university apply to ESL as to any other program at SLU - Madrid.
Students with a minimum TOEFL score of 550 and a TWE score of 4.0 have fulfilled all language prerequisites for any course taught in English offered by Saint Louis University.