English Language Resources for Non-Native English Speakers at the University of Colorado Boulder

There are many resources available at the University of Colorado for non-native speakers of English. Options include classes for credit, non-credit classes, workshops, on-line resources, in person writing consultants, conversation hours, and tutoring.

CU Classes for Credit (included in CU Boulder main campus tuition).  For more information, contact the Program for Writing and Rhetoric (PWR)  (Environmental Design Building, Room 1B60, phone 303-492-8188), or go to: http://www.colorado.edu/pwr

Classes may be used towards the full-time enrollment requirement for international students, and may satisfy Arts and Sciences core requirements are noted.

  • ESL Section of WRTG 1150 - This is a lower-division Writing and Rhetoric class offered for 3 credit hours.   The course satisfies A&S core of lower-division written communication.
  • WRTG 1100 – This is an extended version of the lower-division Writing and Rhetoric class offered for 4 credit hours.  The course satisfies A&S core of lower-division written communication.
  • ESL Section of WRTG 3020/3030/3040 - This is an upper-division Writing and Rhetoric class offered for 3 credit hours.   The course satisfies the upper-division core requirement in A&S, Business and Engineering.
  • Multicultural Rhetorics section of WRTG 3020 – This is an upper-division Writing and Rhetoric class offered for 3 credit hours.  The course combines native and non-native speakers with an interest in cross-cultural writing.  The course satisfies A&S core of upper-division written communication.

CU International English Center (IEC)            http://iec.colorado.edu/overview-programs

Courses offered through the IEC are in addition to CU Boulder main campus tuition. 

  • Intensive Program - The academic year is divided into five, 8-week-long sessions, and students typically attend 4-5 classes each session, advancing to a new level each session. When they arrive, students are tested and placed into classes which most closely match their English proficiency. Students who have lower-level English skills should expect to spend at least one year and up to one and a half years in our program before entering a university.  http://iec.colorado.edu/programs/intensive-english-program
  • ESLG language support courses - http://iec.colorado.edu/programs/eslg   Each ESLG class is worth 2 credit hours, meets 3 hours per week and lasts 10 weeks. Courses in Accent Reduction, Presentation Skills, Academic Writing, and Advanced Written Composition are available.*  A placement test is given at the beginning of the fall and spring semester. Credits earned from these ESL classes do not count toward graduation requirements but may be used to count towards full time enrollment requirements for immigration purposes.
    *See ESLG course information for current tuition prices and detailed descriptions of ESLG courses. http://iec.colorado.edu/programs/eslg/course-info

Writing assistance, citation guides

  • The Writing Center provides a free 50-minute appointment with a writing consultant. For more information about Writing Center services, or to make an appointment, go to: http://www.colorado.edu/PWR/writingcenter.htmlThe Writing Center is located in Norlin Library, room E111.
    • Peer Writing Tutor appointments for residence halls are also available through the Center for Campus Commuity (C4C) noom N351A . For more information about appointments, please download this flyer for Peer Tutoring.  Peer tutors can help you to:
  • Improve planning, logic, and organization
  • Refine clarity, style, citation, and grammar
  • Prevent procrastination and writing anxiety
  • Overviews of campus library collections have been developed by the CU Library in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. http://bit.ly/ForeignLanguageLibraryTours for Norlin, Business, and Gemmill libraries. Arabic versions of these resources are also available for Norlin and Gemmill.

What are our expectations regarding academic integrity, and how you work in and outside the classroom ?


  • Do complete individually assigned assignments by yourself.
  • Do avoid plagiarism by citing references with author and source in homework assignments, informal class work, and more formal research.
  • Do expand your own vocabulary
  • Don’t use a solutions manual from a text (on-line or in print) to assist with homework assignments.
  • Don’t use on-line problem-solving software
  • Don’t plagiarize by avoiding appropriate citation in written papers, blogs, etc.

Writing and citation guides

  • Writer’s Help – (Bedford /St. Martin’s on-line handbook)
    http://pages.mail.bfwpub.com/WritersHelp/About_Writers_Help/ An on-line handbook available to students for either a 2 year or a 4 year subscription. Students may buy it on-line or via the CU Bookstore. Some CU-Boulder students may be eligible for a scholarship for this resource.

This is a link for subject specialists—librarians who specialize in various fields. Students are encouraged to make appointments with these individuals to receive one-on-one assistance with their research needs.

The Writing Center also offers writing support for graduate students, including discussion of manuscripts, articles, and application materials essential to their academic careers.  Dissertation advice is also available for graduate students.

These handouts identify research techniques specific to the given academic field.

Practice in Reading, Listening, and Accent Reduction

  • The ALTEC Lab in Hellems room 152 has ESL tapes and English language movies.  For more information, call (303) 492-3779. http://altec.colorado.edu/languagelinks/ESL.shtml also lists a selection of links to websites for television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and other media resources that are available to improve reading and listening skills. (CNN, CBS,BBC News, NRP, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economics, Scientific American)

Or connect directly to the following resources:

BBC www.bbc.com/news/world/us_and_canada/

CNN Student News www.cnn.com/studentnews

NPR www.npr.org

  • The Speech, Language & Hearing Center offers speech intelligibility assessments and a weekly accent reduction class.  For details, contact 303-492-5375 or see http://slhs.colorado.edu/accent-modification-services/

    Clearly Speaking is a comprehensive training program for individuals who speak English as a second language and wish to increase their ability to be understood by others and to improve their pronunciation of American English. Before starting the training program, group participants receive a thorough evaluation, in which their English pronunciation is carefully analyzed for errors that affect their ability to be understood. This evaluation sets a baseline from which individual goals can be set, and from which beginning of semester to end of semester performance can be compared. The Clearly Speaking group meets once per week for one hour.
  • Norlin Library also has a browsing collection of recent novels, juvenile books, DVD's and language learning materials.

For Conversation Practice:

  • Conversation Groups: Currently, CU Boulder students studying Arabic, Portuguese, and Japanese are meeting in bi-weekly conversation groups with native speakers who are studying at the IEC.  The program is jointly coordinated by Mark Knowles (ALTEC), and Patti Juza and Susan Fouts (IEC).
  • International Coffee Hours Fridays: Each Friday when classes are in session in fall and spring semesters, CU students, faculty and staff are welcome to share informal and stimulating conversations from 4 – 5:30 p.m.  in the UMC Grill.  Refreshments are provided by sponsoring CU Boulder offices. 

ESL Tutors for a Fee:

Please contact the International English Center at ieccu@colorado.edu if you are interested in working with a private tutor. Tutors are experienced English language educators with specializations in academic and professional communication. All tutors charge a fee for their services.


Last edit date: 12/16/2014

Contact person: Kaye.Orten@colorado.edu on behalf of Academic English Working Group


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