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.”

You can find information about the curriculum here (Updated 9/6/2018): Benchmark Explanations.This document explains what a student can do upon completion of a level. The complete curriculum guides can be found on your course websites and the program website.

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 five CEFR macro-levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1). A description of each course and the student learning outcomes can be found in the IEP Curriculum Guides below:

EAP 60: Reading

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.

  • Students successfully completing the A1 course level can:
    • Understand short greetings and other goodwill messages.
    • Understand very short, simple instructions for common, familiar everyday situations.
    • Get information from very short, simple, common formatted texts (such as simple sections of forms, maps, diagrams, sales receipts, or common universal traffic signs and civic symbols).
    • Recognize names, numbers and some basic details in very simple, short texts related to everyday situations and immediate needs.
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • Understand simple personal social messages (such as invitations, thanks, apologies, quick updates and arrangements) within predictable contexts of daily experience.
    • Understand short, simple, clearly sequenced instructions and instructional texts for familiar everyday situations.
    • Get information from simple formatted texts (such as forms, tables, schedules and directories).
    • Get information from short business or service texts (such as brochures, notices, form letters and flyers).
    • Understand the purpose, main idea, key information and specific details in simple, short texts related to everyday familiar and personally relevant situations and topics.
    • Access simple standard reference texts (such as dictionaries and encyclopedias).
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • Understand moderately complex social messages (such as those conveying announcements, cancellations of arrangements and apologies) related to a personal experience or a familiar context.
    • Understand moderately complex instructions and instructional texts for multistep procedures related to everyday situations, where the sequence must be inferred.
    • Locate and use 2 or 3 pieces of information from moderately complex formatted texts (such as maps, course calendars, directories or website navigation menus).
    • Get information from moderately complex business/service texts containing advice, requests or detailed specifications.
    • Understand moderately complex descriptive or narrative texts on familiar topics.
    • Interpret information contained in formatted texts (such as diagrams, tables, graphs or website navigation menus).
    • Access, locate and compare 2 or 3 pieces of information from online reference sources.
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • Understand moderately complex social messages (such as those conveying general opinions, assessments of current events or situations, and responses to complaints or sympathy).
    • Understand extended, moderately complex, multistep instructions and instructional texts for established (set) procedures related to specialized tasks.
    • Locate, integrate and use 3 or 4 pieces of information from moderately complex formatted texts.
    • Get information from moderately complex business/service texts containing proposals, recommendations and statements of rules, regulations or policies.
    • Understand moderately complex extended descriptions, feature articles, reports and narrations.
    • Interpret information contained in moderately complex formatted texts (such as tables, graphs, diagrams and website navigation menus).
    • Access, locate and integrate several pieces of information from relevant online reference sources
  • Students successfully completing the C1 course level can:
    • Understand complex written communication (such as editorials, letters to the editor, personal essays and fiction) conveying stated and unstated values and assumptions.
    • Understand and summarize complex instructional texts about familiar procedures.
    • Obtain and accurately interpret information from multiple complex texts to inform significant decisions.
    • Understand, summarize and evaluate the development of arguments in complex texts (such as lengthy research papers, problem-solution essays or persuasive articles).
    • Interpret and summarize information and ideas contained in complex formatted texts.
    • Conduct a complex search of relevant online reference sources to research a topic.

EAP 70: Listening and Speaking

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 greetings, introductions, requests, goodwill expressions and an expanding range of basic courtesy formulas.
    • Understand short, simple, common instructions, commands, requests and directions related to immediate personal needs.
    • Understand expressions used to make and respond to requests and warnings in situations of immediate personal need.
    • Understand simple information about familiar, concrete topics.
    •  Use and respond to courtesy formulas and greetings.
    • Give short, simple, common, routine instructions to a familiar person.
    • Make and respond to simple requests related to common everyday activities.
    • Give very simple warnings and cautions.
    • Give expanded basic personal information to a supportive listener.
    • Ask for basic personal information.
    • Give basic descriptions of concrete, familiar objects in a few short words or phrases
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • Understand short social exchanges containing introductions, casual small talk and leave-taking.
    • Understand common, sequentially presented instructions and directions    related to familiar, everyday situations of personal relevance.
    • Understand short communication intended to influence or persuade others in familiar, everyday situations.
    • Understand short descriptive or narrative communication on topics of personal relevance.
    • Use a range of courtesy formulas and some casual small talk in short, one-on-one or small group interactions.
    • Participate in very short, simple phone calls.
    • Give a set of simple, common, routine instructions and directions to a familiar person.
    • Make and respond to a range of requests and offers (such as getting assistance, and asking for, offering, accepting or rejecting goods or services).
    • Ask for and give information about needs and feelings related to common everyday activities.
    • Give brief descriptions of personal experiences, situations or simple processes, such as getting goods or services.
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • Understand common social exchanges (such as openings and closings, making and cancelling of appointments, apologies, regrets, excuses, and problems in reception and communication).
    • Understand moderately complex directions and instructions for technical or non-technical tasks.
    • Understand moderately complex communication intended to influence or persuade (such as suggestions, advice, encouragements and requests) in everyday, personally relevant situations.
    • Understand short group interactions and discussions on familiar topics.
    • Understand descriptive or narrative monologues or presentations on generally familiar and relevant topics.
    • Participate in routine social conversations for some everyday purposes (such as apologies, excuses, expressing opinions, and making suggestions or arrangements).
    • Participate in short phone calls.
    • Give sequential instructions and directions for everyday activities and processes.
    • Give and respond to informal and somewhat formal suggestions and indirect requests.
    • Ask for and give information in some detail; express opinions, feelings, obligation, ability and certainty one-on-one and in small group discussions or meetings.
    • Give detailed presentations about sequences of events; incidents in the past, present or future; simple processes; or to describe or compare things such as people and places.
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • Understand moderately complex social exchanges (such as expressions of and responses to gratitude, hopes, appreciation, complaints, disappointment, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, approval, disapproval, formal welcomes and farewells, condolences and congratulations).
    • Understand extended multistep directions or instructions for technical or non-technical tasks.
    • Understand communication intended to influence or persuade (such as extended warnings, threats, suggestions, recommendations and proposed solutions) in situations related to personal decisions or to work-related issues in own field.
    • Understand group interactions about abstract and complex ideas on familiar topics.
    • Understand extended monologues or presentations on topics that are generally familiar and related to general knowledge or technical/work-related issues in own field.
    • Participate in less routine social conversations for most everyday purposes (such as expressing and responding to empathy, clarifying conflicts, and providing reassurance).
    • Participate in brief professional phone calls.
    • Propose or recommend solutions to problems in a familiar area.
    • Give detailed information; express and qualify opinions or concerns; present solutions and options; indicate opposition or support for a stand in one-on-one interactions and small group discussions or meetings.
    • Give presentations to describe and explain structures, systems or processes based on research.
  • Students successfully completing the C1 course level can:
    • Understand complex communication to identify attitudes, emotions, motivations and intentions.
    • Understand complex multistep directions and instructions for less-familiar procedures in some urgent or demanding situations.
    • Understand content, values and assumptions in communication intended to influence or persuade.
    • Understand complex expository or argumentative exchanges or discussions between several speakers.
    • Manage an expanding range of personal and business interactions that involve needs, feelings and attitudes (such as perceived hostility, blame, sarcasm or condescension).  
    • Co-facilitate or contribute to discussions or debates in large formal groups.
    • Give complex instructions for some technical and non-technical tasks, procedures and processes in somewhat demanding situations.
    • Persuade persons in authority to grant approvals or accept/reject proposals.
    • Ask for, give and discuss detailed complex information and opinions to coordinate teamwork assignments, train others, delegate, solve problems, resolve conflicts or make decisions in meetings and business discussions.
    • Participate in a formal debate.
    • Give seminar-style presentations to explain complex concepts and ideas on familiar or researched topics.

EAP 80: Writing

Course Description

Students in EAP 080 will develop their 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:
    • Convey an expanding range of goodwill messages (such as thanks, apologies, congratulations, get well wishes, goodbyes, and sympathy) by means of standard cards or guided notes.
    • Copy a range of information, from simple lists or very short passages, for personal use or to complete short tasks.
    • Complete short, simple or simplified forms that require only basic personal identification or familiar information.
    • Complete a short, guided text or answer simple questions to describe a personal situation.
  • Students successfully completing the A2 course level can:
    • Convey short, personal, informal social messages on topics related to familiar everyday situations.
    • Copy or record an expanded range of information from short texts for personal use.
    • Complete simple forms that require basic personal or familiar information and some responses to simple questions.
    • Write simple business or service messages
    • Write a short paragraph to describe a familiar situation, event, personal experience or future plan.
    • Write a short simple imaginary text.
  • Students successfully completing the B1 course level can:
    • Convey personal messages in short, formal, and informal correspondence for an expanding range of everyday social purposes (such as expressing congratulations, thanks, apologies, or offering assistance).
    • Reduce short, factual oral discourse (such as live or recorded phone messages, pre-recorded public information lines, podcasts and short presentations) to notes or messages.
    • Reduce a page of information to an outline or summary.
    • Write short business or service correspondence for routine purposes.
    • Complete forms requiring detailed personal information.
    • Write 1 or 2 connected paragraphs to relate a familiar sequence of events, a story, a detailed description, or a comparison of people, things, routines or simple procedures.
  • Students successfully completing the B2 course level can:
    • Convey personal messages in formal and informal correspondence for an expanded range of social purposes (such as expressing and responding to experiences, clarifying a conflict, or giving reassurance).
    • Reduce oral discourse about established procedures (given in a live demonstration, over the phone, or from pre-recorded audio or video material) into notes that can be used to write instructions.
    • Reduce a text of up to about 2 pages to an outline or summary.
    • Write business or service correspondence for an expanding range of purposes (such as giving information in memoranda, documenting work done, indicating a problem, requesting a change, or requesting information).
    • Write 3 or 4 connected paragraphs to relate a historical event, provide a detailed description of a phenomenon, explain a procedure, or express and analyze opinions on a familiar abstract topic.
    • Write a paragraph to explain information in a table, graph, flow chart or diagram.
  • Students successfully completing the C1 course level can:
    • Convey a range of personal and business messages in semi-formal or formal correspondence with a sense of audience, formality and language appropriate to the occasion, intent and context.
    • Reduce complex information and ideas from multiple sources as functional notes, outlines or summaries for personal use or for defined audiences.
    • Write business or service correspondence for a broad range of purposes (such as making and responding to requests for information, services or products).
    • Write short reports and memos to convey suggestions, recommendations, requests and updates.
    • Complete extensive complex forms and documents with pre-set formats.
    • Write coherent texts (such as essays, reports or narratives) to relate events from the past to describe and compare complex ideas, phenomena or processes, or to express and analyze opinions.

EAP 90: Content Courses

Course Description

Students in EAP 090 will have the opportunity to take classes (required and optional, depending on your visa status) based on a variety of themes.

  • Students successfully completing the A Level Listening course level can:
    • Understand simple contextualized conversations.
    • Understand short descriptive or narrative communication.
    • Understand simple questions and vocabulary and idiomatic expressions associated with everyday living situations.
  • Students successfully completing the B Level Listening course level can:
    • Take notes from a conversation, presentation, or academic lecture.
    • Comprehend academic lectures.
    • Comprehend classroom discussions.
  • Students successfully completing the C Level Listening course level can:
    • Take notes from a conversation, presentation, or academic lecture.
    • Comprehend academic lectures.
    • Comprehend classroom discussions.
  • Students successfully completing the A Level Reading course level can:
    • Understands purpose, main ideas, some specific details and links between paragraphs
  • Students successfully completing the B Level Reading course level can:
    • Understand main ideas of moderately complex written texts
    • Understand not only the main ideas of moderately complex texts but also concrete and abstract details, inferences, and conclusions.
    • Be able to read texts quite easily at different speeds and in different ways according to student’s purpose in reading and the type of text.
    • Use critical skills (such as evaluating and judging) to interpret written text.

Placement

Initial Placement Procedures

During orientation week, new students will take the proctored CaMLA Placement Test online as well as complete timed-writing and speaking assessments. All assessments provide the CEFR score necessary for initial placement in all classes. The IEP has five levels, A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1. A1 is the beginning level and C1 is the advanced level.

Student Assessment and Placement

Student assessment is continuous, with instructors gathering evidence over the entire semester. 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 session. At the end of each session, you must pass all your outcomes with an 85% or more in order to move onto the next level.

Classes

Sessions are 16 weeks (full semester) or 8 weeks (half-semester) in length. The summer session has a different schedule. All terms are designed to match the UW-Milwaukee academic calendar for degree-seeking students as closely as possible. It is possible for students to register and enter a term after a semester has begun. For course start and end dates, see Session Dates.

During both sessions students take 4 core classes:

  • Reading (EAP 60)
  • Listening & Speaking (EAP 70)
  • Writing (EAP 80)
  • Content Courses – Theme Based (EAP 90)

Classes meet Tuesday through Friday, for a total of 21-24 hours of instruction per week. Monday is independent study day, where you can choose from a variety of activities. Full time study requires enrollment in at least 21 hours of class time. 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 better 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