English as a Second Language
The Phelps School English as a Second Language Program
The Phelps School’s ESL Program is aligned with the internationally recognized TESOL English language proficiency levels and designed to support our diverse group of English language learners as they transition to using English as their primary language of instruction.
Once appropriately placed in the ESL Program, students gain confidence using English in social and academic settings and build strong listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Also, the ESL Department assists international students in better understanding the culture and expectations of the American classroom. It encourages students to strengthen their language skills by establishing friendships with classmates from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, seeking new interests, and becoming active members of The Phelps School community.
Upon their arrival to campus, students who are non-native speakers of English take the International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP). The results of the iTEP are used to place students in the ESL courses that best meet their needs. Students typically take an English Language course that focuses on building listening comprehension and speaking skills and a Literature and Composition course that concentrates on reading comprehension and writing skills. Students at the developing level of English language proficiency or above may opt to take an additional course that prepares them to take the TOEFL exam. At the discretion of the Director of ESL, students may be placed in the ESL Program part-time.
ESL Exit Policy
Students exit the ESL Program when they exhibit the skills needed to succeed in college preparatory mainstream classes at The Phelps School. To be considered for a mainstream schedule, students must take the TOEFL in the United States and arrange for an official score report to be submitted to the Director of ESL for review. Students must demonstrate a balanced set of skills with a minimum of 18 points in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing sections of the TOEFL and a minimum composite score of 80 or more on one test date or as their TOEFL My Best Score combination.