Offices & Services

English Language Learning

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.

  • Students play mah-jongg.

    With a new cross-campus collaboration and international students leading the way, the College’s celebration of the Lunar New Year was the largest and most energetic ever.

  • Xin Miao ’19, Marah Tarawneh ’19, and Amorn Chitkittiwong ’18 were collaborators on the video project.

    International students working for the Office of English Language Learning are creating a video series that introduces students from around the globe to Washington College. By international students, for international students, the virtual orientation series closes the gap between imagination and reality for those preparing to attend Washington College.

  • Yue Sun ’20 traveled from China to study at Washington College.

    Yue Sun ’20, from Zhengzhou City, China, has flourished at Washington College.

In Pictures

Student Newsletter

  • Spring 2019 Newsletter Two

    Two times each semester, students in ELL 101 publish a newsletter, Global Voices, for all current and future international students. They work together on this whole-class activity to create the publication, including the design and content.


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.

  • Does tuition include textbooks?

    No. Tuition does not include textbooks and textbooks can be expensive. Students can research the textbooks they need to buy before the start of each semester on the college website. They can buy (or rent) textbooks in the Washington College bookstore or online. The college bookstore has competitive book prices and students do not have to wait for books to be shipped.

  • 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.