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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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The Office of Graduate Education, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Office of Graduate Education

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English as a Second Language (ESL)

The English as a Second Language (ESL) office is located in the Russell Sage Lab, Room 2106. The following programs and services are offered through the ESL Program; please contact Jeannie Steigler, ESL Coordinator, at (518) 276-6820 for more information.

  • Proficiency Screening - New or returning international graduate students who will be Teaching Assistants at Rensselaer for the first time must take the SPEAK Test of oral proficiency to assess oral communication skills. The test takes approximately 20 minutes and is given during TA Training. Students arriving late should contact the ESL coordinator to arrange a time to take this test.
  • English Classes - Free, non-credit English as a Second Language classes are available to students who need or want to improve their English in order to function successfully as students or Teaching Assistants. Placement in these classes is based on an interview with Jeannie Steigler, the Coordinator of ESL Programs. As space in these classes is limited, priority will be given to Teaching Assistants and first-year students. Returning students, visiting scholars, post doctorates, and spouses will be placed in classes if there is space left after new students have been placed.
  • Conversation Club - This program is to help the international students practice their English fluency and learn more about American culture while the American students learn more about other cultures. The coordinator puts international students into small groups where they can discuss many topics about culture and life in America and abroad. Discussions last for an hour once a week. Sign-up sheets and dates for the first meeting are available in the Advising and Learning Assistance Center, Sage Lab, Room 2106.