IEP Handbook

We are glad you have chosen to study with the Harper College Intensive English Program. Please study these guidelines that the faculty and staff have developed to help you succeed in the IEP. If you do not understand the guidelines, ask your teachers or the IEP Coordinator.

  1. You will study all four skill areas (reading, writing, grammar and listening/ speaking) at each level (A, B, C, D). You cannot drop any of these classes during the semester. If you stop coming to one of the classes, you will receive a grade of F in that class.
  2. If you need to drop all of your classes, you must go to the Registrar’s office in Building A, where you will complete a withdrawal. You can only receive a full refund (all your tuition money refunded) by dropping within the first two days of Level A and B classes and the first five days of Level C and D classes. There will be no money refunded after that date. You may not withdraw during the last four weeks of classes.
  3. The Intensive English Program requires this commitment:
    • Attend class every day. (Avoid vacations or business trips during the semester.)
    • Come to all your classes on time.
    • Participate in all your classes. Ask your instructor questions. Work hard in groups.
    • Study at least two hours after classes every day and turn in homework on time.
    • Spend 1-2 hours every week in the Language Lab.
    • Come to the ESL Tutoring Center for additional help with your studies.
    • If you don’t have a computer at home, you may need to spend time in the Harper College computer Lab. (There are many computers on campus, and it is free to use them.)
    • If you have a job, you may work only 20 hours per (If you have to work more than 20 hours per week, you should study in the Part-time Program, where you may take fewer classes each semester.)
  4. Remember that you must be a high school graduate, either in your country or in the United States. If you have not graduated from high school, you will find the Intensive English Program to be very difficult.
  5. Purchase your own textbooks and bring them to class. If you do not purchase your textbooks, your instructors will ask you not to attend class. You will receive a list of books to buy on the first day of class. The Bookstore is in Building L, Room L260.
  6. Do NOT cheat. You need to prepare your own homework, write your own papers and write your own answers on tests. Your instructors will discuss this important topic with you in your classes.
  7. Complaints. If you have a problem with one of your classes:

Mission

The Intensive English Program at Harper College is dedicated to providing excellent comprehensive language instruction for postsecondary students who are nonna¬tive speakers of English. Professionals in the field of teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) use a variety of proven language teaching methods to prepare students for further academic study or employment in the United States. This learner-centered program is offered on a full-time basis to both international students and residents of the United States.

Goals

The Intensive English Program strives to achieve the following objectives:

  1. to provide instruction in each of the four language skill areas: reading, writing, listening/speaking and grammar
  2. to increase the English language skills of nonnative speakers to the level needed to meet their academic and career goals
  3. to apply sound teaching methods, including the use of presentations, group work, computer-assisted instruction and the language laboratory
  4. to provide students with strategies that help them learn more effectively and efficiently
  5. to provide support services, such as testing, registration, academic advising and financial aid information
  6. to provide educational resources for students’ use, such as comprehensive library services, modern computer and language laboratories and private tutoring

Program Philosophy

In the Intensive English Program, our purpose is to facilitate language learning in an encouraging student-centered environment. From placement through Program completion, faculty and staff strive to create a non-threatening atmosphere for all students. While honoring differences in culture and learning styles, our instructors facilitate meaningful language learning experiences and provide students with the tools necessary to become independent language learners.

Our ESL and Linguistics faculty recognize that as language learners move from one acquisition stage to another, their needs change. At the beginning level, our pur­pose is to help students become confident when using their new language, and we encourage students' practical application of English. At the more advanced levels, we expect students to take more responsibility for their learning.

THE PROGRAM HAS FOUR LEVELS: A, B, C AND D.

As students move up in the levels, the amount of class time in each skill area changes. Please see our proficiency scale that describes each level.

Level A

Reading class

32 hours/semester

Writing class

32 hours/semester

Listening speaking class

96 hours/semester

Grammar class

64 hours/semester

Guided Lab class

16 hours/semester

Level B

Reading class

64 hours/semester

Writing class

32 hours/semester

Listening/speaking class

80 hours/semester

Grammar class

64 hours/semester

Level C

Reading class

64 hours/semester

Writing class

64 hours/semester

Listening/speaking class

48 hours/semester

Grammar class

64 hours/semester

Level D

Reading class

64 hours/semester

Writing class

64 hours/semester

Listening/speaking class

48 hours/semester

Grammar class

64 hours/semester

One class hour = 50 minutes

Classes meet for 12 weeks plus a final exam week in the Fall and Spring.

Classes meet for 10 weeks (no final exam week) in the Summer.

Classes begin in August, January, and May. Check our website for start and end dates

You need a final grade of A, B, or C in ALL YOUR COURSES in order to begin work in the next level the following semester. You can see your grades on your Harper Portal Page.

THIS IS OUR ESL GRADING SYSTEM AT HARPER:

93 – 100 = A
85 – 92 = B
75 – 84 = C
70 – 74 = D
Below 70 = F

You must spend at least two hours a week in the Language Lab. Attendance will be included in your Listening/Speaking class grade.

Students in Levels B, C and D must take a writing assessment test, the ESLWAT, near the end of the semester. Your score on this test will count as 20 percent of the final grade in your Writing class.

Attendance is very important for success in your classes. Please call or e-mail your instructors if you must be absent due to illness or emergency.

  1. While in Level D, you should speak to an advisor early in the semester about plans for the following semester. You can discuss your plans to complete a college degree.
  2. You must complete these two courses in our English Language Program with a grade of A or B before entering Harper’s English 101 course:
    • ESL Advanced Writing ESL073 (4 credit hours)
    • ESL Advanced Reading ESL074 (4 credit hours)
  3.  You can also take these additional ESL courses in our English Language Program:
    • Advanced Pronunciation ESL085
    • Advanced Vocabulary ESL087
    • Guided Lab ESL006
    • TOEFL Preparation ESL079
    • Business Communication Skills ESP071
  4. Or you can take degree credit courses in your major. See an advisor for help. The ESL/Linguistics Department also offers these degree credit courses:
    • Introduction to Linguistics LNG105
    • Language and Culture LNG205
    • Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language LNG220

Not all of these courses are offered each semester.

As members of the educational community, students have the right to express their concerns regarding the assessment of their academic progress through the grading process. Students shall express these concerns initially by contacting the appropriate faculty/staff member within ten (10) school days of the occurrence giving rise to the concerns, and requesting a conference to informally discuss the concerns.

If the concerns are not resolved to the student’s satisfaction after the informal discussion, the student may submit a complaint in writing to the department chair, coordinator or director of the faculty/staff member involved within ten (10) school days after the informal discussion, or within ten (10) school days after the initial contact, whichever is later. In filing the written complaint, the student may request to meet with the department chair, coordinator or director. The written complaint must specify the specific complaint(s) together with the desired resolution(s).

The department chair, coordinator, or director who receives the complaint shall review it and respond in writing to the student within ten (10) school days after receiving the complaint or after holding the (optional) requested meeting, whichever is later.

If the student is not satisfied with the results of the departmental review, he or she may then appeal in writing to the dean of the appropriate division (if applicable) within ten (10) school days after receipt of the written departmental response. The dean shall review and respond in writing to the student’s appeal within ten (10) school days of the date on which the appeal is received.

If the results of the review by the dean (if applicable) are unsatisfactory to the student, the student may appeal in writing to the Provost within ten (10) school days after receipt of the dean’s written response. The student may request a meeting with the Provost. The Provost or designee shall issue a written response to the student within ten (10) school days after receipt of the appeal or after holding the (optional) requested meeting, whichever is later. The decision of the Provost shall be final.

If a student wishes to have a complaint considered through this process but does not follow the steps as outlined, (such as the student sends an appeal to the Provost prior to the individual or departmental review), the student will be referred back to the steps in this process unless the Provost or Dean believes there is a compelling reason to consider it (e.g. the individual or departmental response did not occur within the 10 school days or the instructor is also the department chair).

Students with questions about this process or how to contact the appropriate individuals can contact the Student Conduct Officer for more information.

From Harper College Student Code of Conduct. PDF

William Rainey Harper College COMPLAINT PROCEDURE Language for ESL Students

  1. Talk to the teacher. Explain the problem directly to your teacher. Talk to the teacher within 10 days of the problem. 
    If your complaint isn’t resolved…
  2. Write a letter to the ESL Department leaders. Write to the IEP coordinator or ESL co-chair within 10 days after talking to the teacher. You can write a short letter to ask for a meeting OR you can write a longer letter to answer these questions:
    • What is the specific problem?
    • What result do you want?
    Bring your letter to the ESL Office in F-340.
  3. Read the response. The IEP Coordinator or ESL co-chair will write to you within 10 days of your letter.

    If you do not like the IEP coordinator/ESL co-chair’s response…

  4. Write a letter to the Division Dean. Write your letter within 10 days of the response. Answer the same questions. The Dean will respond to you within 10 days. 

    If you do not like the Dean’s response…

  5. Write a letter to the Provost. Write your letter within 10 days of the response. Answer the same questions. The Provost will respond to you within 10 days.

    The Provost’s decision is final.

LEVEL READING WRITING LISTENING/SPEAKING GRAMMAR

LEVEL A

By the end of this level, the students can read linguistically non-complex materials which provide basic information with which they can readily identify and for which they have some background knowledge. They can also write short texts containing simple, yet coherent sentences. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can engage successfully in short exchanges related to basic social functions.   During more extended conversations, however, speech may be halting and often inaccurate, but the main idea will be understood by sympathetic listeners. Students' comprehension of longer discourse will be limited to main ideas.   A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can understand and produce questions and statements in spoken and written form using the simple tenses, some basic modals and adverbials, and basic sentence word order.   A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual

student reflects this profile.

LEVEL B

By the end of this level, the students can read simple materials for both academic needs and personal enjoyment.   Comprehension may be limited; however, students should be able to determine main idea and salient details.   A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students demonstrate fluency in writing multiple paragraphs on a given topic.   Their writing will include simple, compound, and complex sentences, with limited use of transitions. Errors in grammar and logic may be evident due to students' experimentation with more complicated structures. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can initiate and engage in short conversations involving a variety of topics.   Because of limited vocabulary, speech may be halting and sometimes inaccurate, but there will be more evidence of internalization of grammatical patterns. Students will be able to understand longer discourse containing vocabulary appropriate to this level.   A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can understand and produce questions and statements in spoken and written form using the present and past tenses in simple and progressive modes, present perfect and present perfect progressive tenses, and some basic modals (including "be going to" and "will"). In addition, they should be able to use noun and verb phrases using comparatives and superlatives. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

LEVEL C

By the end of this level, the students can read longer texts which have not been written or adapted for the ESL reader. Students are able to read independently a variety of materials, such as editorials, essays, newspaper articles, short stories, and novels for both academic needs and personal enjoyment. Comprehension may be limited, but students should be able to see the relationship between the main ideas and details and relate background knowledge to what they are reading. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile. 

By the end of this level, the students can draft, develop, and revise narrative, descriptive, and enumerative paragraphs. Topic sentences and main supporting ideas will be clearly evident. Their writing will include simple, compound, and complex sentences, with greater use of transitions. Errors in grammar and logic will be less evident due to students' familiarization with more complicated structures. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.  

By the end of this level, the students can initiate and engage in short conversations and structured small group discussions involving a variety of topics. Speech will show evidence of internalization of grammatical patterns. Although pronunciation errors may be frequent, they will not interfere with overall intelligibility. Students can also understand the main ideas in a variety of native listening experiences, such as news reports. In addition, they will be able to understand longer discourse containing vocabulary appropriate to this level.   A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.  

By the end of this level, the students can understand and produce questions and statements in spoken and written form using all the tenses except future perfect and future perfect progressive. They can easily use a variety of modals although errors in production of perfect modals may occur. Students can distinguish between count and noncount nouns and can use appropriate quantifiers for their limited vocabulary. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

LEVEL D

By the end of this level, the students can read longer texts which have not been written or adapted for the ESL reader. Students are able to read independently a variety of materials, such as editorials, essays, newspaper articles, short stories, and novels for both academic needs and personal enjoyment. Comprehension reflects an ability to understand subtleties in the language and make inferences based on background knowledge and linguistic knowledge.   Students are able to analyze, question and react to information in the readings. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can draft, develop, and revise essays requiring classifying, comparing and contrasting, and giving reasons.

Thesis statement, topic sentences, and supporting ideas will be clearly evident. Their writing will show a variety of cohesive devices including sentence embedding, pronoun reference, and transitions. Writing will show emerging control of most grammatical patterns. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can initiate and engage in short conversations and structured small group discussions, and give oral presentations. Speech will show increasing fluency and accuracy, especially in unstructured situations. Pronunciation errors will not interfere with overall intelligibility. In addition, oral presentations will show evidence of the ability to organize ideas and effectively introduce and conclude a topic. Students can also understand the main ideas and some details in a variety of native listening experiences. Students will be able to understand longer discourse containing vocabulary appropriate to this level, take notes, and summarize information or respond to questions.   A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.

By the end of this level, the students can understand and produce questions and statements in spoken and written form using all the tenses except future perfect and future perfect progressive. They can readily use a variety of modals and are able to recognize and discriminate between active and passive voice. They will be able to use conditionals and reported speech in structured situations. Students are familiar with the usage of gerunds and infinitives. A grade of at least C, based on Program grading scale, indicates that an individual student reflects this profile.