Intensive English Program (IEP)

Join students from more than 20 countries who enroll in the UWM Intensive English Program (IEP) each semester! Choose the IEP to:

  • improve your English before beginning full time academic study at UWM or another U.S. college or university;
  • improve your English for professional advancement; and
  • achieve your personal goal of gaining greater proficiency in English.

The IEP is open to residents and visa holders. To Apply for the IEP, a prospective student must have completed high school.

From the Higher Learning Commission: “University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission at the Certificate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Specialist’s, and Doctor’s degree-granting levels and has been accredited since 1969. Accreditation of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee includes all courses offered by the institution at its campus and all other instructional facilities, including its English as a Second Language (ESL) Program.”

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

The IEP curriculum is based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). The CEFR is designed to allow language programs flexibility in meeting the individual or group needs of their students. The UWM IEP tests students and places them into four CEFR macro-levels (A1, A2, B1, B2). A description of each course and the student learning outcomes can be found in the IEP Curriculum Guides below:

EAP 60: Reading and Written Interaction for Academic Purposes

Course Description

Students in EAP 060 will improve English reading comprehension and vocabulary development. Students will read a variety of academic and non-academic texts. In addition, students will express opinions about the texts through online discussions, blogs, and other interactive media.

  • Students successfully completing the A1 course level can:
    • interpret short, simple texts that use everyday language.
    • write short, simple notes in complete sentences.
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • read factual texts on subjects related to their interest with a satisfactory level of comprehension.
    • write personal letters and notes on abstract or concrete topics.
    • check information and ask about or explain problems with reasonable precision.
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • independently read a variety of texts using a broad active reading vocabulary, drawing conclusions from various sources.
    • draw conclusions from various sources of informational text.
    • report information and express opinions in social and academic modes of written interaction.
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • read complex texts independently, applying a broad active vocabulary and appropriate reading strategies.
    • synthesize information and express complex opinions effectively across varying modes of written interaction.

EAP 70: Speaking and Listening

Course Description

Students in EAP 070 will engage in a variety of communicative activities in order to improve speaking and listening skills. Stu-dents will focus on increasing listening comprehension and speaking fluently and accurately. Students will be exposed to listening texts from various popular and academic sources.

  • Students successfully completing the A1 course level can:
    • understand enough to meet needs of a concrete type (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography,) and can understand phrases and expressions related to familiar topics, provided speech is clear and slow.
    • Overall Oral Production: give a simple description or presentation of people, living or working conditions, daily routines, likes/dislikes, etc. as a short series of simple phrases and sentences linked into a list.
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • comprehend the general idea and some details of spoken information concerning familiar matters regularly encountered in everyday matters of work, school, and leisure.
    • Overall Oral Production: present a clear description of familiar subjects with reasonable fluency.
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • comprehend the main ideas of linguistically complex speech on both concrete and abstract topics and follow extended speech and complex lines of argument provided the topic is reasonably familiar and clear.
    • Overall Oral Production: give clear, systematically developed descriptions and presentations, with appropriate highlighting of significant points, and relevant supporting detail on a wide range of subjects, expanding and supporting ideas with supplementary points and relevant examples.
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • comprehend spoken language, live or broadcast, on both familiar and unfamiliar topics normally encountered in personal, social, academic or vocational life with little comprehension difficulty.
    • Overall Oral Production: give clear, systematically developed, detailed descriptions and presentations on complex subjects, while integrating sub-themes, developing particular points, adding relevant supporting detail along with an appropriate conclusion.

EAP 80: Grammar and Writing

Course Description

Students in EAP 080 will develop their grammar and writing skills. Students will write on a wide range of subjects, ranging from personal and popular topics of interest to more academic topics.

  • Students successfully completing the A1 course level can:
    • write about everyday aspects of his/her environment, e.g. people, places, a job or study experience using a series of simple phrases and sentences linked with simple connectors like ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘because.’
    • write with overall grammatical competence at the A1 level.
    • describe events or situations using appropriate verb tense structures for this level.
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • write coherent and cohesive sentences on a range of familiar subjects
    • write with overall grammatical competence at the A2 level.
    • describe events or situations using appropriate verb tense structures for this level.
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • write straightforward connected texts on a range of familiar subjects within their fields of interest, by linking a series of shorter discrete elements into a linear sequence.
    • write with overall grammatical competence at the B1 level.
    • describe events or situations using appropriate verb tense structures for this level.
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • write clear, detailed texts on a variety of subjects related to their fields of interest, synthesizing and evaluating information from a number of sources.
    • describe events or situations using appropriate verb tense structures for this level.
    • write with overall grammatical competence at the B2 level.

EAP 90: Cooperative and Productive Skills

Course Description

Students in EAP 090 will interact with their peers to create a product or project that integrates speaking and writing skills.

  • Students successfully completing the A1 course level can:
    • interact in structured situations and short conversations, initiate and respond to simple statements, ask and answer questions and exchange ideas and information– all topics are familiar, situations are predictable, tasks are simple and routine, and speech is slow and clear.
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • use a wide range of simple language to deal with most familiar situations and can enter unprepared into conversation on familiar topics, express personal opinions and exchange information on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life (e.g., family, hobbies, work, travel and current events).
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • converse, write, and collaborate with some confidence on familiar and less familiar matters related to their interests; exchange, check and confirm information, explain and deal with a problem; express thoughts on more abstract, cultural topics such as films, books, music, etc…
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • converse, write and collaborate–with fluency, spontaneity, and good grammatical control–on a wide range of general, vocational, academic or leisure topics, showing coherence, and adopting a level of formality appropriate to circumstances.

Grading Procedures for IEP

Below you can find the grade levels for IEP courses.

  • E = Exceeds Objectives: Your work now exceeds the student learning outcomes for this course and level. You are ready to work on the SLOs for a higher level of this course.
  • M = Meets Objectives: Your work now meets the student learning outcomes for this level. You are ready to begin work on the SLOs for the next level of this course.
  • N = Nearly Meets Objectives: Your work now nearly meets the student learning outcomes for this level, but you still need a little more practice in one or more of the SLOs for this level of this course.
  • P = Partly Meets Objectives: Your work now partly meets the student learning outcomes for this level, but you need more practice with many of the SLOs for this level of this course.
  • S = Slightly Meets Objectives: Your work now slightly meets the student learning outcomes for this level. You still need a lot more practice with most of the SLOs for this level of this course.
  • D = Does Not Meet Objectives: Your work now does not meet the student learning outcomes for this level. This course may be too difficult for you.
  • I = Insufficient Evidence: You did not submit enough work for this course. You did not show that you can do the work for this level. You are not ready for the next level of this course.

Placement

Initial Placement Procedures

During orientation week, new students will take the proctored Michigan Placement Test online as well as complete a timed-writing assessment. Both assessments provided the CEFR score necessary for initial placement in all classes. The IEP has four levels, A1, A2, B1 and B2. A1 is the beginning level and B2 is the advanced level.

Student Assessment and Placement

Student assessment is continuous, with instructors gathering evidence over the 16-week session. Evidence for movement includes but is not limited to assignments, projects, tests, quizzes, class discussions and group work. Decisions on advancement through the program take place at the end of each 16-week session.

Classes

Sessions are 16 weeks in length, although new students are also accepted at the 8-week point. For course start and end dates, see Session Dates.

During the 16-week session students take 4 core classes:

  • Reading & Interactive Writing (EAP 60)
  • Speaking & Listening (EAP 70)
  • Grammar & Writing (EAP 80)
  • Cooperative & Productive Skills (EAP 90)

Classes meet every day, Monday through Friday, for a total of 20 hours of instruction per week. Full time study requires enrollment in all four classes. Part time study is 1-3 classes. Student visa holders must study full time.

IEP Mission Statement

The mission of the Intensive English Program (IEP) at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee is to prepare students for university study in English by assisting students: 1) to improve English proficiency in listening, reading, writing and speaking skills; 2) to interact with English speakers in everyday and professional situations; and 3) to gain an awareness of the culture of American university life. The IEP also provides language instruction to students whose goal is to improve their English for other professional or personal endeavors.

The IEP is committed to maintaining a professional teaching and administrative staff and to following ethical standards in all areas of the profession. The IEP is also dedicated to establishing supportive teacher-student relationships, to fostering an atmosphere of openness among cultures, and to collaborating with the UWM community to serve international students.

I think this program is good because you meet a lot of different people from different countries and cultures, and this gives you more ideas about what is going on in the world. It makes you more open and mature, and also you have a lot of fun!”

Lettsy, Mexico