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Intensive English Programs

Due to their unconventional curricula, intensive English programs (IEPs) have sometimes struggled for recognition. Despite this hurdle, there are hundreds of IEPs at distinguished universities, colleges and private language schools throughout the United States.

Typical IEP enrollees are foreigners preparing to enter U.S. universities or businesses. Thus, the curriculum of an IEP is designed to accommodate students with varying levels of English proficiency, and aims to cultivate listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, along with the cultural orientation necessary to thrive in the academic and professional spheres. IEP classes usually meet for 20 to 24 hours a week for three to 13 weeks and are comprised of five to 25 students.

Computers play a large roll in IEPs. Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) helps to facilitate the educational process, offering students a more individualized learning experience. Besides CALL, computers also play a central role in IEPs as subjects themselves. Since computer-use is central to functioning at a university or a business, IEP students may also learn the basics of word-processing and emailing.

IEP teachers are usually employed by universities and can expect to teach up to 20 hours a week. Some administrative work may also be required, such as holding office hours, training staff, preparing exams, evaluating textbooks, and attending orientation, testing sessions and meetings. Salary fluctuates with qualifications, and employment is usually by annually-renewable, nine-month contract. Requirements commonly include a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language, applied English linguistics, or a related field, along with some TESOL experience (preferably internationally). American citizenship may be stipulated.