• Cushing
July 1 - August 3


English as a Second Language (ESL) - a world-class program offering individual attention
Academic Programs for Ages 14-18, rising 9th-12th graders

Recognized throughout the world for its excellence, Cushing’s five-week summer program in English as a Second Language (ESL) is highly recommended for students who plan to continue their education in the United States. However, many of our summer ESL students return home to complete their education. Through a carefully planned curriculum, Cushing’s immersion experience in American English can have a dramatic and enduring impact upon your fluency.

How to listen & speak, read & write English

The morning ESL program consists of two 2-hour skills classes: one to enhance listening and speaking, the other to focus on reading and writing. In every course, emphasis is placed on study skills including organizational skills, note-taking methods, and test-taking strategies.

You can significantly increase your English proficiency in just five weeks. Small class sizes and skilled, supportive teachers are the keys to the success of this program. Cushing has a large ESL faculty with extensive experience teaching English as a Second Language, both during the regular academic year and the Summer Session. For this reason, we can create homogeneous classes tailored to meet your needs. You are tested upon arrival and carefully evaluated each week to make sure you are placed in the correct level of instruction. For example, if you have stronger aural/oral skills than reading/writing skills, you are placed in appropriately challenging classes in each concentration.

Teachers meet regularly to discuss your progress and facilitate placement changes, if needed, as your skills improve during the program.

List of 3 items.

  • Orientation to Life in the USA

    Cushing’s summer ESL program provides a secure setting that enables you to gain knowledge and understanding of life in the United States in addition to providing an intensive English language learning experience in the classroom.

    In afternoon courses and sports activities and through participation in the arts and dorm life, you have the opportunity to practice your language skills. You build friendships while you enjoy daily interactions with your American and international peers attending Cushing for the Summer Session. Moreover, through class trips, excursions and special activities you have an opportunity to travel to places of cultural and historic significance.

    The Cushing experience helps you achieve a level of language proficiency, social comfort and self-assurance that lasts long after the Summer Session has ended.

  • Integrated Skills for Advanced Students Preparing for TOEFL iBT

    If you are a rising junior (11th grader), senior (12th grader), or post-graduate, possess advanced proficiency in English (achieve over 125 on the SLEP test or provide other evidence of your advanced language skills, such as an affidavit from a guidance counselor, Academic Dean, or the Director of ESL at your school) and wish to:
    • improve your English grammar and sentence structure,
    • expand your vocabulary,
    • hone your reading and listening skills,
    • refine your essay writing skills, and
    • practice intensively for the new internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT) in order to apply to a college or university in the U.S.

    In addition to the grade-level and English proficiency criteria needed to enroll in this course, class size will be limited to 12 qualified students. Not only will you take pre- and post-tests in all sections of the TOEFL iBT, but you will also periodically complete an entire practice (unofficial) test. Students unable to keep up with the fast pace of this course will be placed in a standard ESL class.

    If you wish to take an official TOEFL iBT during the summer, you or your parents must register at a local test site. See explanation below under TOEFL for details.

    NOTE: Students must bring a laptop that has a Windows based operating system in order to enroll in this course. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.


    The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is a computerized test that most ESL students must take before applying to an American college or university. Cushing’s Residential Life Office will help you secure transportation to an official TOEFL testing site in the area. (You are responsible for the cost of the transportation, however.) Spaces at official testing sites fill quickly because registration is done electronically; therefore, if you are interested in taking the TOEFL while you are studying at Cushing Summer Session, your parents must register you in advance at Worcester Prometric in Worcester, Massachusetts (phone: 508.853.7250) for a test date between July 12 - July 30, 2014.

    NOTE: The testing fee of approximately $170 is the responsibility of your family. You may find more information
    at www.ets.org/toefl.

How to listen & speak, read & write english.
The morning ESL program consists of two 2-hour skills classes: one to enhance listening and speaking, the other to focus on reading and writing. In every course, emphasis is placed on study skills including organizational skills, note-taking methods, and test-taking strategies.

practice, practice, practice
Cushing offers as many as 8 levels of instruction. The average class size is 12 students, although beginning classes usually consist of eight to ten students. Consequently, you receive a great deal of individual attention from teachers, and you have many opportunities to practice newly acquired vocabulary and grammar in small groups.


As with all Cushing programs, computers are routinely used in ESL courses. You are stongly encouraged to bring your own computer to connect to Cushnet, the campus-wide network from your dormitory room, the library, and from the  wireless ports throughout the Main Building.

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Cushing Academy Summer Session

39 School Street
Ashburnham, MA 01430-8000

Tel: 978.827.7700
Fax: 978.827.7087

Cushing Academy

39 School Street
Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430

Cushing Academy

Cushing Academy is a coed, college preparatory day and boarding school for grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in and out of the classroom through outstanding academic, art and athletic offerings. Visit our welcoming community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.