In Person Courses

ESL courses focus on various aspects of advanced-level oral/aural classroom interaction, grammar, and writing skills, and they also explore culture, customs, and skills for multicultural university classes.  

ESL 1001/1002. ESL Communication Skills. The goal of this course is to improve ESL students’ interactive skills, primarily oral/aural (speaking, listening, giving presentations) and some reading/writing—while gaining a deeper understanding of American culture, customs, attitudes, and idiomatic usage of the language. Building on skills developed in ESL 1001, this knowledge and practice is intended to help students participate more fully in everyday American life, both inside and outside the classroom. ESL 1001 is recommended as a precursor but is not a prerequisite.

ESL 3001/3002. Advanced Academic Writing. The goal of this course is to help students explore and practice writing skills critical to their particular field of specialization. Academic texts are used as a basis for out-of-class writing assignments and a final research project. Most classes will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of key academic writing styles, with some class time set aside for writing workshops and one-on-one tutorials working on principles of grammar and style.

ESL 4001. ESL Pronunciation Skills. The goal of this course is to improve advanced ESL speakers’ pronunciation for effective and successful communication in academic settings. Students will gain awareness of their own weaknesses in pronunciation and with the instructor develop strategies and exercises to improve overall communication skills. Students will learn to recognize and use English intonation, rhythm, syllable stress, focus words, thought groups, vowel and consonant sounds, linking, and other speaking features.

ESL 6001/6002. Seminar for International Teaching Assistants (ITAs). This course is based on communication and language skills developed in ESL 6001 but will deal more specifically with issues of student-teacher interaction, such as cross-cultural communication within the university classroom and pedagogical skills related to students’ field of specialization. The Case Studies approach will be implemented for the purpose of examining typical university-level classroom/academic situations, and you will take part in experiential learning activities such as micro-teaching. This course is limited to SMU graduate students.

Non-credit ESL courses

  • Open to all SMU students
  • Free of charge
  • Non-credit
  • Learn skills, knowledge & strategies for academic success
  • Taught by ESL experts 

ESL program approval is required by submitting an online application. Apply: