Course Descriptions


In order to succeed at the university level in the United States, it is imperative that you have a strong command of the English language. At Tompkins Cortland, we know how to prepare you for the demands of university study.

The College offers seven levels of English. Our courses cover every aspect of the language from basic English to advanced language skills.

Basic to Advanced Beginner: ESL 80(Basic English), ESL 90A (Beginning English), ESL 90B(Beginning English), ESL 95A(Advanced Beginning English), ESL 96B(Advanced Beginning English. Students in the lower levels receive 60 hours of instruction in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and earn four pre-college credits for successful completion of each course. These courses are not routinely offered on the Tompkins Cortland campus. They are, however, offered at the campuses of our international partners.

Intermediate to Advanced English Language Learning: ESL 101(Intermediate English), and ESL 103(Advanced English). In ESL 101 and ESL 103 students receive 120 hours of classroom instruction and earn eight college credits upon successful completion of each course. Upon completion of the entire ESL program, students advance into the academic writing course, a course required of all students by virtually all universities throughout the United States.

These upper level courses are taught during all semesters on the Tompkins Cortland campus.

At the intermediate level (ESL 101), students are introduced to academic materials; while at the advanced levels (ESL 103), learning activities focus on developing academic English language skills by using actual academic materials. Listening, speaking, reading, writing, use of grammar and vocabulary, and pronunciation are integrated into each of these courses.

ESL 105 is a supplement to the academic ESL courses. In this class, non-native English students learn about pronunciation issues and practice real-world language functions. Students analyze conventions of daily, informal speech in American culture; compare American conventions to the conventions of their cultures; and obtain significant practice in using those American conventions. The course is graded pass/fail. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in ESL 095 or ESL 101 or ESL 103. The course is one credit and it typically offered in the spring semester