The English Language Institute assists international undergraduate students in acquiring the sophisticated use of English at the university through a sequence of English courses that fulfill UB’s Communicative Literacy requirement.
The English Language Institute congratulates you on your acceptance to the University at Buffalo! We welcome you and are excited to have you join a select group of young international scholars who have already chosen UB as their academic home.
As you prepare to begin your educational journey, we would like to share some important information with you. Specifically, we want to answer the question that is usually at the top of the list for most international students: Do I have to take an English class?
UB is committed to ensuring that all international students are fully prepared to be successful in their programs of study. To help all students achieve the goals of academic excellence and the sophisticated use of English at the university, UB has developed a sequence of English courses that comprise Communicative Literacy.
International undergraduate students studying at UB who are non-native speakers of English are placed into the Communicative Literacy English course sequence primarily on the basis of standardized English proficiency exam scores from tests such as the TOEFL iBT or the IELTS.
Course placement is determined by the English Language Institute through evaluating students’ sub-section scores (not total scores) on these English proficiency exams for each of the four skill areas (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). The English Language Institute will register students for a “Z” section of the appropriate English course(s). The “Z” sections of English courses are customized for the specific needs of international writers and speakers of English and are taught by English Language Institute instructors who have significant teaching experience in countries around the world.
|Sub-Section Skill||iBT TOEFL |
Minimum Sub-Section Score
Minimum Sub-Section Score
Students will be placed in “Z” sections of English courses according to their individual English language proficiency. These courses could include one or more of the courses below.
ENG 100Z — Introduction to Academic Writing: The ENG 100Z course prepares international student writers of English for the UB Curriculum’s Communications Literacy course sequence. Students will be introduced to the conventions of academic writing that are common across American universities. This course will examine varied types and styles of written texts, the variety of audiences these texts address, and the multiple purposes that written communications serve. In particular, this course will focus on the analysis, development, and revision of student writing, with special attention paid to argument structure and the effective use of formal written grammar.
ENG 105Z — Writing and Rhetoric: The ENG 105Z course (4 credits) provides international student writers of English with an introduction to research, writing, and the rhetorical practices employed in academic and professional contexts. This course will examine common types and styles of written texts, the variety of audiences these texts address, and the multiple purposes that written communications serve. In particular, this course will focus on the analysis, development, and revision of student writing, with special attention paid to generally accepted academic research writing practices.
ESL 411Z — Spoken English: The ESL 411Z course prepares international student speakers of English for the speaking, listening, pragmatic, and cultural conventions common to the American university setting. This course will examine varied spoken discourse types, purposes, and audiences that international students are likely to engage with during their academic careers and beyond. Special attention will be paid to formal presentation organizational and platform skills development and to strategies for improved native-like pronunciation and greater self-confidence when communicating orally in English.
Students who are placed in ENG 100Z and/or ESL 411Z must meet the following three conditions during their first semester:
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