The Office of English Language Learning supports international students throughout their academic careers at Washington College, especially during their first semesters as they acculturate to the American system of higher education.
While attending classes taught in another language is the most obvious challenge that English language learning students face, the academic environment itself is vastly different from their high schools at home. Students must adjust to a classroom culture that may be quite different from that in which they previously were educated. As part of the tradition of a liberal arts education, classrooms at Washington College are sites of dynamic learning and expression. Collaboration and cooperation between students and faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, are highly valued. For some, this educational setting is a dramatic departure from their previous experience.
In addition to individualized student and faculty support, the Office of English Language Learning offers credit-bearing courses designed to prepare students for Washington College’s academic environment. These courses, housed in the Modern Languages department, focus on English language instruction, including first-year composition, as well as explanations of the often unfamiliar academic policies and procedures students encounter. The courses introduce international students to the standards of academic writing and research valued in American institutions of higher education.
OELL Director John C. Hepler participated in the 2016 Maryland TESOL Conference held on November 12, 2016, at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland.
Student workers in the Office of English Language Learning translated the office’s webpages into Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Hindi, and Tamil.
OELL Director John C. Hepler presented at the 2016 International Education Conference June 6-9, 2016, in Venice, Italy.
Our Top 3 Questions
What is the difference between a College and a University?
In the United States, the terms are frequently interchangeable. Both colleges and universities offer four-year undergraduate degrees. Some colleges and many universities also offer graduate programs leading to a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree. If students want small class sizes and a closer relationship with professors, then a college is the best option. If they prefer more variety in classes and programs, then a university may be a better choice.
What is a liberal arts education?
It means students take classes in different areas. For example, a student majoring in Business Management also will take classes in other disciplines, such as Biology, English, and Music.
How can I make friends?
A great way to meet other students is to join a sport or club. There are many sports and clubs at Washington College. Popular sports are basketball, tennis, soccer, rowing, lacrosse, and sailing. Popular clubs include The Elm (the student newspaper), Student Events Board, Music Collegium, Chess Club, German Club, and so on.