two smiling students
The Academic English program at INTO UAB offers part-time and full-time English language study for students who wish to quickly improve their academic, professional, or general English skills. It offers excellent preparation for student who are planning to enter INTO Pathways or UAB undergraduate or graduate study. Students who wish to study full-time can receive support in the application process for an F-1 student visa. The Academic English program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).

Academic English classes are for:

  • Students who want to improve their English language skills very quickly.
  • Students from all over world who are 17 years old or older.
  • Students who want quality instruction and small, student-centered classes.
  • Students who want to improve their academic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to prepare for undergraduate, graduate, or professional degrees.

Academic English Sessions

  • 3 times every year: spring, summer, & fall
  • Spring: January - April (15 weeks, including orientation)
  • Summer: May - July (14 weeks, including orientation)
  • Fall: August - December (15 weeks, including orientation)

Academic English (AE) Levels and Courses

The INTO UAB English Language Program’s Academic English program (AE) is divided into 5 English proficiency levels. General English is taught at the lower levels to give students a strong foundation. At higher levels, Academic English is taught to give students the language and skills they will need for university study. Each level consists of 4 Core Courses which meet for a total of 18 hours per week. Each Core Course takes one semester to complete (14 weeks in fall/spring semesters and 13 weeks in summer semesters). As a student passes each course in a level, he/she progresses to the next level of that course. The Academic Achievement Scale below shows the AE Core Courses students must take in each level and the sequence of courses students must take from level to level. Click on the "Level" links within the chart below see the “Course Descriptions—Interpretation of the Academic Achievement Scale” for each course in the level.

AE Academic Achievement Scale
Click each level for the Course Descriptions.

Pre-Level 1

Beginner
Level 1

Advanced Beginner
Level 2

Low Intermediate
Level 3

Intermediate
Level 4

High Intermediate
Level 5

Advanced
Support for Beginners

ELI 015
Reading 1

ELI 011
Reading 2

ELI 021
Academic Reading 3

ELI 031
Academic Reading 4

ELI 041
Academic Reading 5

ELI 051
Writing 1
ELI 014
Writing 2

ELI 024
Academic Writing 3

ELI 034
Academic Writing 4

ELI 044
Academic Writing 5

ELI 054
Integrated Skills 1

ELI 012
Integrated Skills 1

ELI 012
Integrated Skills 2

ELI 022
Grammar: Using English Accurately 3

ELI 033
Grammar: Using English Accurately 4

ELI 043
Grammar in Use 5

ELI 053
Vocabulary Building 1

ELI 013
Vocabulary Building 1

ELI 013
Vocabulary Building 2

ELI 023
Speaking and Listening Skills 3

ELI 032
Speaking and Listening Skills 4

ELI 042
Oral Communication 5

ELI 052

Academic English (AE) Typical Schedule

A typical AE schedule starts at 8:00am and includes 20 credit-based hours of instruction – 18 hours of core English classes and 2 hours of “Keys to Academic Success,” a support course for all AE students. See the sample schedule for an example of how the classes are organized.

Placement Testing

When students enter the AE program, they are placed in a certain level of each course based on their ELP Placement Test results. A student may be placed into different levels for the 4 courses.

All Academic English students, including full-time and part-time students, are tested for their English proficiency. Returning students who have not studied with us for 2 or more semesters must retake the Placement Test and are placed based on the re-test.

The Placement Test assesses English proficiency in listening, grammar, reading, writing, and speaking. Through the tests, we assess a student’s knowledge – and more importantly – their ability to use language to communicate.
  • Listening Test: students listen to a recording and answer 20 multiple choice questions. Two types of questions are used: (1) a speaker asks a question and the student chooses the best reply; (2) a speaker makes a statement and the student chooses the summary.
  • Grammar Test: students complete 30 multiple choice questions by selecting the best grammatical structure to complete a sentence in a two-person conversation.
  • Reading Test: students read 20 sentences and answer a multiple choice comprehension question.
  • Writing Test: students write about two topics, one general and one more academic. They are assessed on fluency, organization, grammar, and vocabulary. The test focuses on students’ ability to use English to communicate in writing.
  • Speaking Test: students are interviewed individually by a teacher. They are assessed on fluency, coherence, pronunciation, listening, grammar, and vocabulary. The test focuses on students’ ability to use English to communicate in speaking.

Academic Achievement Grades

Students’ Academic Achievement Grade is calculated in each Core Course according to their performance on Language Achievement Assessments. These assessments vary for each Core Course. They may include in-class tests, writing assignments, or oral presentations. In the first lesson of each course, students receive a Course Description which includes a description of the Language Achievement Assessments.

Students may refer to their Student Handbook for the list of specific Language Achievement Assessments for all Academic English Core Courses.

Note: Academic Achievement is determined separately from Attendance Policies.

Progressing in Levels and Program Completion

At the end of the semester, students receive an Academic Achievement Grade, based on the Language Achievement Assessments in each course. Students must earn Academic Achievement Grade of 75% or more to progress to the next level each Core Course. Students will receive midterm and final grade reports.

Academic Achievement
Grade Scale  
A 90-100% Pass this course – progress to next level of the course
B 80-89% Pass this course – progress to next level of the course
C 75-79% Pass this course – progress to next level of the course
70-74% Fail this course
D 60-69% Fail this course
F 59% and below Fail this course

When students pass a course, they progress to the next level of that course. When students have passed all Level 5 courses, they have completed the AE program.

Part-time Study

  • Part-time or full-time study options are available
  • Part-time: can take 1-2 classes
  • Only students who apply to study full-time in AE can request to receive an I-20 from UAB for the application of an F-1 student visa.

Cost and Admission Information

More admission information, including detailed cost information, help in estimating living expenses, admission forms, and information on the application process can be accessed at www.intohigher.com/uab.

Academic Support and Student Services

For more information, please visit the links in the Student Services and Student Life sections of this website, or contact our office at iep@uab.edu.

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