Cushing's ESL program is designed to prepare non-native speakers of English for active participation in all school activities - both in and out of class. The program aims at developing students' proficiency in four major areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. Although grammar is primarily introduced in the writing classes and vocabulary in the reading classes, unfamiliar words and grammatical structures are explained and practiced in all ESL courses as needed. Writing is practiced in every class at each level.
In addition, students learn and practice how to research, employ technology for academic purposes, and hone their inquiry and analysis. Recognizing the special needs of international students, ESL teachers also provide support and guidance in areas of cultural adjustment, homesickness, and academic advising to ease students' transition.
New international students typically take a series of placement tests to determine their proficiency in the English language. Those that place in to the ESL program are enrolled in the appropriate sequence of classes and are closely monitored. If an individual requires additional practice and support, ESL teachers schedule appointments during their free time.
Cushing offers two levels of ESL instruction:
Advanced Intermediate Level
Students typically take a writing/grammar course, a listening/speaking course, Reading II (literature), and college prep math and science courses. Occasionally, a student may take a history/social science class instead of science; those whose reading skills are more refined take the advanced level Literary Studies, instead of Reading II.
Students at the advanced level take two periods of ESL per day and three college prep courses (typically math, science, and history). These advanced-level classes – Literary Studies, and Advanced Grammar and Composition – are critically important for students to refine their grammar, writing, reading, and listening/speaking skills before transitioning out of the ESL program.
Cushing offers the following ESL courses:
• Advanced Intermediate Level (Writing and Grammar, Reading II, Listening and Speaking)
• Advanced Level (Grammar and Composition, and Literary Studies)
• TOEFL Review (afternoon activity option)