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English Language Studies Program


The English Language Studies (ELS) Program at the University of Rhode Island was introduced to meet the unique needs of students who speak English as a Second Language (ESL). Courses and support services are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students to enhance their overall academic success. There are two ELS levels offered that distinguish between undergraduate and graduate students' language needs.  All are college level courses, are graded, and grant academic credit.

Undergraduate Courses and Support

Undergraduate ELS courses are designed to strengthen students' skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking; thus, enabling students to succeed in all other academic coursework.

  • ELS 112 - Expository Writing in English (3 credits)
  • ELS 122 - Academic Writing in English (3 credits)
  • ELS 312 - Oral English Skills for the Public Sphere (3 credits)
  • ELS 322 - Oral English Skills for the Academic Sphere (3 credits)

For course descriptions, please click here

Students may take either ELS 112 or 122 for the English Communication/ Writing requirement for General Education.

ELS 112 and ELS 312 are offered in the fall semester; and ELS 122 and ELS 322 are offered in the spring semester on the Kingston Campus.

Students in all courses are strongly encouraged to meet individually with instructors and to also use the tutoring services provided through the Academic Enhancement Center.


Graduate Courses and Support

The ELS graduate-level courses are designed to strengthen international teaching assistants' (ITA) skills in pronunciation, listening, speaking, oral presentations, and teaching. These courses enable graduate students to succeed as teaching assistants in their graduate programs.

  • ELS 512 - Oral Communication Skills for International Teaching Assistants (3 credits)
  • ELS 612 - Advanced Communication Skills for International Teaching Assistants (3 credits)

For course descriptions, please click here

ELS 512 is offered in the fall semester; and ELS 612 is offered in the spring semester on the Kingston Campus.

Teaching Assistant Language Certification

The ELS Program also facilitates the certification process for oral proficiency in English for all international teaching assistants.

Spring 2015 Test Information: Available Here

For more information on any aspect of the ELS Program, please contact Kelly Watts, kwatts@mail.uri.edu or 401-874-2019.