English as a Second Language (ESL) – Resources

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.

In the fall, SUNY Oneonta offers separate classes at the intermediate-high level in Intensive ESL Reading (ESL 224, 3 s.h.) and Intensive ESL Writing (ESL 225, 3 s.h.). These courses are designed to strengthen English reading 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 course COMP 100 – Composition, as well as to support the content courses that students will take in their major program. Each spring, we offer Continuing ESL Reading/Writing (ESL 266, 3 s.h.). This course is designed to polish student skills with the 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. And our American Discovery class (GEOG 120, 3 s.h.) is required of new international students, as an introduction to the culture and history of our upstate New York region and as an extended orientation to the college.



  • The Center for Academic Development and Enrichment (CADE) is a supportive environment that includes
    the Writing Center for help with all aspects of strategic writing and the Learning Center, providing peer tutoring, study skills, reading and math, and time management strategies. Visit CADE at: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/cade/.

  • The Foreign Language Lab in Schumacher Hall has generous hours and is equipped with multimedia ESL software for private, independent study outside the classroom experience. Visit their website at: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/forlang/.

  • 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 has numerous opportunities for the international student and welcomes applications year round. Be brave, be a leader in helping your local
    community! Visit the Center’s website and click on the link Volunteer Opportunities at: http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/csrc/.

  • 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. Good faith efforts are made by the OIE to connect international students with conversation
    partners across the campus.