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Office of International Studies and Programs


Contact Us

Office of International Studies and Programs
Central Washington University
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408
Phone: (509) 963-3612
Fax: (509) 963-1558

ESL: Elective Classes

Below is a description of all the elective classes we have offered in the past two years and photos from these classes.


Living in the USA

This is a class for level 3 and 4 students. In this class you will learn more about American culture and society and about your reactions to living in the United States while improving your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

This class requires you to be a VERY ACTIVE LEARNER. In addition to using the textbook, you will keep a journal and have discussions with your classmates. You will go on field trips and do "field work", like an anthropologist, to learn more about living in the United States on a personal level. You will learn about America by reading, seeing, doing things, visiting places, asking questions, and by thinking about everything.


In this course we learned about some famous (and maybe not so famous) places in the US, especially Washington State parks. Students taught us about places in the United States they were interested in and the teacher taught us about places in Washington State.

  • In class time: Learned about Parks, Places in the United States, especially the places we would visit on our field trips.
  • Outside of class: Gathered information about the United States and travel destinations. Talked to Americans.
  • Field trips: Went to local and distant places on field trips. On Friday afternoons or on the week-ends. Kept a journal and gathered information, photos, items for our scrapbooks.


Speaking Workshop

In this course, students will develop their fluency and accuracy in informal speech. We will also work on pronunciation. The class will include a variety of activities, including role-plays of everyday situations and discussions based on current events, cultural topics and films. All students will be active participants and will speak as much as possible in order to improve their speaking skills.

Creative Writing

In this course we learn how professional writers use different techniques to write creatively. We will practice these techniques to write our own stories and poems. We will improve our reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. We will also listen to each others' stories and make comments on them. This class is designed for students in levels 3, 4, and 5 because each person can write and share at their own level.

Volunteering in Ellensburg

Volunteering (working without pay) is a very important part of American culture. In this class we will learn about volunteering. We will learn why people volunteer, what jobs they do, and how it helps America. Each student will volunteer in Ellensburg at least one hour each week. You may do the same job the whole quarter or you may do different activities. We will be working with Service Learning on campus to place you into "jobs." You will share your experience with the teacher and your classmates in the form of weekly written journals and oral discussions/reports on what has happened. You will complete a final project rather than a final exam.

One of our exciting experiences in the fall of 2002 was to create a Japanese Haunted House for Boo Central on Halloween!

TOEFL Preparation

Develop the skills and strategies needed to be successful in taking the TOEFL, including the computerized TOEFL.

TOEIC Preparation

Develop the reading, listening and vocabulary skills needed to be successful in taking the Test of English for International Communication.

Vocabulary and Idioms

In this course, students will expand their understanding and use of vocabulary and idioms in all skill areas.

English Through Movies

Watching movies is a fun, effective way to improve your English. In this class, we will watch interesting, entertaining American movies, learn how to understand natural spoken English, and practice speaking English by discussing the movies in depth.

History Through Films

In this course, we learn about American history through reading, discussion, lectures, and presentations. In addition, we will see how this history is represented in Hollywood movies.

International Business

This class is designed to help students understand and communicate in the business world with good skills, cultural sensitivity and confidence. This class will also help enhance students reading and writing abilities.

Speak Naturally

In this course, we will use techniques of acting and theater to improve speaking and pronunciation. Using scenes and scripts from television programs and movies with real actors as models, students will improve the fluency and accent of their spoken English.

Advanced Reading and Research Skills

In this course, students will develop their reading, writing, and research skills. The main subject of the course is Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who wrote a famous diary about her experience hiding from the Nazis during World War II. We will read parts of Anne's diary, the play based upon it, articles about Anne Frank, and historical background about World War II. The following academic skills will be practiced: taking notes from lectures, reading college-level texts, writing essay examinations, doing library research and writing a research paper.

In the News

In this class, students will read newspaper and magazine articles, watch TV news and programs in order to help achieve their English reading and listening proficiency and acquire English vocabulary words related to news. Of course, students will also be given opportunity to practice writing in English. For example, they will interview people, write news reports, and make an UESL newspaper. By making a newspaper, they will learn the writing process from the brainstorming to editing, the process of making a simple and informal newspaper for UESL students, and the computer skills of Page Maker as well. Finally, they will learn how to give a news report on "TV!"

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