English as a Second Language

ESL Coursework

Our faculty understand that language learning is a difficult and cumulative process, and our ESL curriculum allows students whose English skills are already good enough for admission to the college to be able to polish their skills even further. Our ESL courses enhance the learning process and can also provide an avenue for conditional admission to the college, as supplemental ESL work might necessary for a successful transition and integration into classes with native speakers. Admission dossiers of new degree-seeking or exchange students are reviewed by our ESL team, and placement testing upon arrival to campus may be required to determine whether ESL classes will be necessary. SUNY Oneonta offers a flexible curriculum in ESL to meet the individual needs of each of our students.

In the fall, SUNY Oneonta offers a class at the intermediate-high level in Continuing ESL I (ESL 1065, 3 s.h.). This course is designed to strengthen English speaking and writing skills at the college level. Class sizes are small and focused on reinforcing the skills necessary to perform well in the college-level courses COMP 090 or COMP 1000 – Composition, as well as to support the content courses that students will take in their major program.

Each spring, we offer Continuing ESL II (ESL 1066, 3 s.h.). This course is designed to polish student skills with the spoken and written language even further, to support our international students on their way to success here at the college.

Every semester, we also offer credit-bearing classes in ESL Conversation (SILP 103 or 104, 3 s.h.), which use an innovative model of peer-led conversation groups under the supervision of a professor. SILP 103 is offered in the Fall and SILP 104 is offered in the Spring semesters.


  • The Student Learning Center (SLC) on the second floor of the library is a supportive environment that includes the Writing Center for help with all aspects of strategic writing and provides peer tutoring, study skills, reading and math and time-management strategies.
  • The Foreign Language Lab in Room 302 Schumacher Hall (third floor) has generous hours and is equipped with multimedia ESL software for private, independent study outside the classroom experience.
  • There’s no better way to get quickly adjusted to the U.S. than volunteering – a major part of American culture. Volunteering on and off campus enhances speaking and listening skills, provides a network of opportunity to establish friends with similar values and balances one’s academic life with interesting and life-changing experiences. The Center for Social Responsibility and Community in 128 Hunt College Union has numerous opportunities for the international student and welcomes applications year round.
  • Many of our international students benefit from conversation partners – Oneonta students and community members volunteering their time and talent to help with academic matters or just to share cross-cultural understanding.
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