Every new student takes a placement exam. You are encouraged to take the placement test before you come to campus. It is free for you to take. The IEI uses the placement test results to put students in one of the IEI’s six levels. The beginning level is level 1 (beginning English), and the final level is level 6 (advanced, academic English).

Every level in the IEI must be passed to complete the IEI. From the beginning levels of 1 and to the end of level 6, each level builds on the others and provides academic work that prepares the student for academic coursework. These courses are for students ready to learn advanced English to study at a university.

In each level, students take six courses. Each IEI course is categorized as either Core or Complementary. The Core courses are Writing, Reading, Listening, and Speaking. The Complementary classes are Grammar and Cultural Experiences. All courses rely heavily on student’s interacting in English. Core and Complementary courses are equally important in the IEI and share the same expectation for maintaining a standard of excellence. The only difference is that the final score for Complementary courses is derived solely from work done in the class, and the final score for Core courses is derived from a combination of the in-class grade and the departmental final exam grade.

This beginner level focuses on continuing to teach students skills necessary to function in an English-speaking environment, but it also provides an introduction to basic academic foundations. Students will improve their fluency and continue to build their communicative skills, becoming more expressive and able to function in the target language.

  • 111: Level 1 Writing
    This course focuses on the development of the basic writing skills. Students will identify parts of the sentence and apply basic rules for writing. Students may have varying degrees of English knowledge and accurate usage; this should be accounted for in lesson planning. 
  • 112: Level 1 Grammar
    This course introduces basic grammatical rules. Students implement simple verb tenses, basic parts of speech, and simple sentences. Students may have varying degrees of English knowledge and accurate usage; this should be accounted for in lesson planning.
  • 113: Level 1 Reading
    This course is for developing reading comprehension and provides the students with opportunities to respond appropriately to questions to demonstrate comprehension of reading material. Students will improve their reading comprehension acquire dictionary skills to build vocabulary, and develop visual literacy. Students may have varying degrees of English and accurate usage; this should be accounted for in lesson planning.
  • 114: Level 1 Speaking
    In this course, students will learn how to respond appropriately to basic verbal classroom directions, make polite requests to an instructor, request information from others, introduce themselves and others verbally, and retell information from verbal introductions of others. Students may have varying degrees of English knowledge and accurate usage; this should be accounted for in lesson planning.
  •  115: Level 1 Listening
    This is the students' first introduction to short audio lectures and note-taking. Students are expected to not only listen accurately, but convey their understanding in English (spoken and written). Students may have varying degrees of English knowledge and accurate usage; this should be accounted for in lesson planning.
  • 170: Cultural Experiences
    The goal of this course is to help prepare the student for academic expectations and immerse the student in the cultural experiences at Ball State University This course is for levels 1, 2, and 3.

While the previous level introduced students to information necessary to function in an English-speaking environment, this level explores the topic of U.S. culture in general and provides a more in-depth exploration of university culture.

  • 121: Level 2 Writing
    This course teaches students to identify and write the following types of paragraphs: definition, process, description, and opinion. Each of the writings should include all of the elements of a paragraph (i.e. topic sentence, supporting sentences, and concluding sentence). They should also demonstrate correct spelling, accurate grammar, and a variety of sentence structures.
  • 122: Level 2 Grammar
    This course introduces more complex concepts of English grammar, simple and compound sentences, and various verb tenses. Students begin to analyze their grammar choices instead of simply applying the appropriate rule.
  • 123: Level 2 Reading
    This course focuses on increasing students’ overall reading proficiency through reading practice of authentic texts. Students will also develop basic reading strategies and vocabulary building techniques to increase overall comprehension of a text and build on prior knowledge of a topic when reading.
  • 124: Level 2 Speaking
    In this course, students will participate in open-ended, in-class group discussions and a variety of activities to learn about general cultural behaviors, beliefs, and expectations, in the U.S. The focus for this course is to guide students in becoming yet more familiar with and comfortable in a new culture and to aid them in becoming integral participants
  •  125: Level 2 Listening
    Students will improve both their discrete and global listening skills related to lectures and improve note-taking skills. Students will identify key signal words and main ideas.
  • 170: Cultural Experiences 
    The goal of this course is to help prepare the student for academic expectations and immerse the student in the cultural experiences at Ball State University This course is for levels 1, 2, and 3.

Level 3 continues to introduce students to the skills necessary for success in the U.S. classroom. Students begin to learn about the importance of research and its place in supporting both written and spoken academic discourse. Instructors should be aware that many students will struggle with appropriately incorporating the ideas of others into their own work, and instructors should assist with this struggle in all skills.

  • 131: Level 3 Writing
    This course is an introduction to the academic essay. Students learn the basic features of an essay. Students are expected to acquire more than a basic understanding of intellectual property as they learn to use sources. Student will develop critical thinking skills and transition from personal statements and beliefs to writing and reflecting om am academic level. 
  • 132: Level 3 Grammar
    This course continues with more complex concepts of English grammar, complex sentences, and complex verb tenses. Students continue analyzing grammar choices.
  • 133: Level 3 Reading
    This course focuses on improving reading fluency through reading authentic academic texts. Students will use prior knowledge and comprehension strategies to understand meaning, improve vocabulary, and join in the conversation of the topic,
  • 134: Level 3 Speaking
    In this course, students focus on high-level usage of conversational skills such as interviewing as formal group discussion. Pragmatic issues such as politeness especially in a agreement and disagreement,  are key outcomes of the course. To learn how to listen listen accurately to American speech, students will learn more discrete listening skills.
  • 135: Level 3 Listening
    Students will continue to develop academic listening and note-taking skills. Students will listen to authentic academic lectures, explain main ideas, provide evidence, and summarize concepts. 
  • 170: Cultural Experiences
    The goal of this course is to help prepare the student for academic expectations and immerse the student in cultural experiences at Ball State University. This course is for levels 1, 2, and 3. 

A particular focus of this level is critical thinking skills. While students have learned about critical thinking in previous levels, this level increases the reading and writing difficulty, focusing on textual analysis, and reinforces this with other skills areas. This level can be challenging as many students struggle with critical thinking and questioning in the classroom.

  • 141: Level 4 Writing
    This course continues the exploration of the academic essay and students will write multi-paragraph essays and incorporate sources.
  • 142: Level 4 Grammar
    This course builds on previously learned grammar concepts and adds more complex features such as compound complex sentences various verb tenses, parts of speech, and paragraph structure.
  • 143: Reading
    This course focuses on improving reading fluency through reading a variety of academic texts. Students will begin to analyze, evaluate, and demonstrate a holistic understanding of the text. 
  • 144: Level 4 Speaking
    In this course, students continue to learn and master the skills of participating in and leading academic classroom discussions in a culturally and pragmatically appropriate way. Additionally, there is a focus on improving pronunciation.
  • 145: Level 4 Listening
    Students continue to focus on academic lectures and the necessary skills to comprehend their content. Students learn to use their notes to successfully answer both detail-level and “big-picture” comprehension questions about a lecture. 
  • 180: Cultural Experiences
    The goal of this course is to help prepare the student for academic expectations and immerse the student in cultural experiences at Ball State University. This course is for levels 4, 5, and 6.

In this level, students continue to focus on critical thinking in all skills. Students are also stretching their skills to accommodate common lengths in an academic classroom. The focus is on lengthening reading texts and listening to longer passages.

 
  • 151: Level 5 Writing
    The primary goal is for students to write essays that contribute to an existing conversation in a meaningful way. The major assignments of this course ask students to think critically about an issue and ultimately support a claim about that issue.
  • 152: Level 5 Grammar
    This course continues to reinforce grammatical concepts and adds more verb tenses, parts of speech, complex interrogative sentences. 
  • 153: Level 5 Reading
    This course focuses on improving fluency and comprehension by reading a variety of academic texts and increasing the student's personal lexicon. Students should analyze and evaluate reading materials to participate in informed discussions and make text comparisons. 
  • 154: Level 5 Speaking
    In this course, students focus on creating and delivering academic presentations. Students learn about delivery and presentation skills as well as focus on creating strong content using appropriate sources. Additionally, students will focus on pronunciation and persuasive tone.
  • 155: Level 5 Listening
    This course reinforces overall listening skills developed at previous levels. Students practice critical thinking skills that they need to comprehend and analyze arguments presented in various forms.
  • 180: Cultural Experiences
    The goal of this course is to help prepare the student for academic expectations and immerse the student in cultural experiences at Ball State University. This course is for levels 4, 5, and 6.

The purpose of this level is to provide final preparation for students for academic classes. By the end of the level, they should be able to take notes and participate in an academic classroom, as well as read any assigned text or complete any type of assigned writing. This level can be challenging, as instructors must make sure that students are up to the standard of an academic class before allowing them to pass the level.

  • 161: Level 6 Writing
    In this course, students learn and practice the various steps necessary to do effective research. The focus of this course is to write a well-supported and well-organized research-driven argumentative academic essay of approximately 1,200-1,500 words. Students will use library databases to search for sources, identify a research topic of their own, and create an annotated bibliography. All of this work culminates in the writing of an argumentative academic essay.
  • 162: Level 6 Grammar
    In this course, students will work on meaning and production while continuing to build on previous knowledge from past grammar courses. Students should also focus on self-correction and using the grammar learned in this course in authentic and meaningful ways.
  • 163: Level 6 Reading
    This course focuses on improving fluency and comprehension by reading a variety of academic texts and increasing the student's personal lexicon. Students should demonstrate a deep level of comprehension to discuss the text at an academic level, and to make informed text comparisons. 
  • 164: Level 6 Speaking
    In this course, students focus on presentations and debates to develop critical argumentative and thinking skills. Students will become aware of pronunciation difficulties and create goals for improvement.
  • 165: Level 6 Listening
    This course provides instruction in advanced listening comprehension. the ability to take efficient and accurate notes of an academic lecture and use those notes to answer comprehension questions is a fundamental course outcome. Recorded lectures provide the bulk of course material.
  • 180: Cultural Experiences
    The goal of this course is to help prepare the student for academic expectations and immerse the student in cultural experiences at Ball State University. This course is for levels 4, 5, and 6.

Students who provide an approved English language proficiency test score, may be admitted into the IEI Academic Bridge Program. Academic Bridge students are in level 6 and conditionally admitted. These students would take some classes in the IEI and some classes in their academic program.

Full-time IEI students have 20 hours of class every week. A student receives 1.5 nontransferable BSU credit hours for each course. Successfully completing an IEI level will result in an IEI grade of “Credit” (CR) for each course.” When a student fails an IEI level, the student receives an IEI grade of “No Credit” (NC) for each course. Credits earned for IEI courses do not count toward a student’s degree program and are not included in grade point average calculations at Ball State University. IEI credits allow students to become regular Ball State students after mastering the language skills necessary for academic study.

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