English Department Composition and Language Support Courses for ELL/International Students

The English Department offers composition courses through both the Expository Writing Program (EWP) and Interdisciplinary Writing Program (IWP). Courses in either program may be used toward either UW’s “C” (composition) or “W” (additional writing) requirements. Students may take courses in both programs. EWP and IWP offer a wide range of composition courses, any of which will be welcoming and supportive of international/multilingual/ELL students. Both EWP and IWP courses offer small class sizes, individual conferences with the instructor, and opportunities for all students to gain skill and confidence as readers and writers. Composition courses can also be an effective introduction to UW resources and to American academic culture. (Students must earn at least a 2.0 to fulfill the “C” (composition) requirement. In most cases, students who earn a 2.0 or above may not take additional EWP courses.  Students may take up to three IWP courses.)

The English Department also offers several courses specifically for students who self-identify as non-native speakers of English. “ESL” is the term most widely recognized by current students, and is the term we use below.


“ESL” 131 and 121: Each quarter, there are specific sections of English 131 for students who self-identify as “ESL.” These sections are taught by teachers with expertise in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Access to these sections requires add codes from the instructors, whose contact information is linked in the time schedule. In Spring 2014 we will offer our first “ESL 121,” EWP’s service-learning composition course. This section will be taught by a teacher with both TESOL and community-based teaching experience.  Student surveys are overwhelmingly positive, and confirm that students in EWP’s “ESL” sections gain in skill, confidence, and ability to make use of UW resources and to write, revise and edit their own writing.

Linked English 103-131: In autumn and winter, we offer a specific section of English 131 that is linked to a section of the Academic English Program’s English 103. The English 103 and English 131 teachers, both of whom have TESOL expertise, coordinate the course-planning and instruction. For UW students who need an AEP course to fulfill their English Language Proficiency Requirement, this linked pair of courses is an excellent opportunity to work toward both the ELPR and the UW’s “Composition” requirement through a linked pair of courses. Students should contact Amy Renehan, arenehan@pce.uw.edu, for information and add codes.

“ESL Studios”: In addition to “Composition” courses, the English Department continues to offer “ESL Studio” courses each quarter under General Studies 391. These 2 credit C/NC courses, which are open to any student enrolled in any EWP or IWP course, are also taught by teachers with TESOL expertise. In the “ESL Studios,” students build advanced vocabulary skills, focus on reading skills to help comprehend and analyze complex texts, and review and analyze grammar structures, focusing on how they apply to organization and produce different effects in academic writing.   Students may contact the instructors (linked in the time schedule) with questions about the course.  Studios are capped at 10 students each.  No add codes are required.

Questions?  Contact Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill at esoneill@u.washington.edu.

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University of Washington Linguistics Undergraduate Advising
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