International students who require English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Middle School level will attend ESL classes at the Upper School. It is one of the strengths of Randolph-Macon Academy that students who qualify for classes such as ESL or upper level math are able to take them at the Upper School campus.
The English as a Second Language program requires that ESL students enter R-MA with a minimum score of 30 on the Secondary Level English Proficiency Test (SLEP). While R-MA will consider SLEP scores submitted as part of the admission application, we do not accept these scores for placement into English or ESL classes. Placement is determined by the score achieved on the SLEP Test taken upon arrival.
International students whose English capabilities fall below the score of 30 on SLEP Tests submitted as part of the application are required to attend the ESL Summer School session prior to being admitted in the Fall.
The current ESL program features a curriculum that addresses the needs of the second language learner in the skill areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Grammar study is a key component at each of the first three levels (ESL I, ESL II and ESL III), while reading, writing and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Prep are the primary focus of the Introduction to Mainstream English offering.
ESL I Grammar and Vocabulary
Goals for this course include comprehension of basic grammar, from “to be” to the past continuous and beyond. Grammar is introduced in conversation form. It is reinforced through readings and writing exercises. Vocabulary development is also a main focus. Book reports, projects, short story study, weekly journal writings and a taste of idioms are also included.
ESL I Reading and Writing
This course works to develop sentence level and paragraph level writing skills for beginning ESL students. It includes intensive work to extend reading comprehension abilities through reading response writings, comprehension exercises and discussions.
ESL II Grammar and Vocabulary
This course is designed for intermediate level language learners. Goals include a reinforcement of basic grammar, an introduction and intense study of more complex grammar, including further development of conversational skills, reading skills, writing skills and vocabulary development. Journal writings, idiom study, book reports, projects and an introduction to TOEFL are included.
ESL II Reading and Writing
This course works to improve paragraph level writing and essay writing skills for intermediate ESL students. It includes intensive work to extend reading comprehension abilities through reading response writings, comprehension exercises and discussions.
ESL III Grammar and Vocabulary
This course is designed for advanced level ESL students. Goals include further reinforcement of basic grammar as well as an introduction and intense study of more complex grammar through various means. More time is devoted at this level to discussions and problem solving. Development of vocabulary remains a top focus. As this is one of two “transition” classes, much class time is devoted to literature in its various forms.
Introduction to Mainstream English
This course is offered to the most advanced of the ESL population, those scoring between a 52 and 56 on the SLEP. This course focuses heavily on reading, writing and vocabulary. While literature is introduced at the ESL III level, it is a mainstay in this course. Many of the activities done in the mainstream English classes are also featured here. TOEFL Prep is a regular part of this course.