Classroom Environment

At the Language and Culture Institute, you'll find a superb study environment featuring experienced faculty and comfortable classrooms designed specifically for language-learners.

For more than 40 years, the Intensive English course series has provided full-time classroom instruction in all skill areas — including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and pronunciation — from beginning through advanced proficiency levels. Our classroom instruction is supplemented by self-paced, interactive computer-assisted training in our state-of-the-art technology centers.

Program features

  • Full-time, intensive instruction in all language skill areas
  • 10 levels of instruction from low-beginning to advanced
  • Concentrated preparation for university studies
  • An advanced computer-assisted learning center
  • Concurrent graduate-level university enrollment for qualified students
  • Up to 18 months of study, depending on placement

Term calendar

You can find detailed session dates on the Academic Calendar page. The Intensive English Program course calendar closely follows the Virginia Tech semester calendar, with two terms each semester plus two in the summer. Sessions are six to eight weeks long.

Placement and levels

Intensive English Program courses are divided into 10 levels from low-beginning to advanced. Each level may be completed, with normal progress, in one term.

You will be placed into a level when you arrive at the institute, based on your initial English proficiency, which is determined by results of a standardized test, a writing sample, and an oral interview.

Advancement from one level to another is based your having achieved course learning outcomes. This is measured by performance on tests, writing assignments and oral assessments conducted during the term, and a comprehensive evaluation of your reading and writing portfolio at the conclusion of the term.

For more information, see the Academic Information section of the Student Handbook.

Core classes

As a student, you'll enroll in two required core classes, plus an optional elective, each term. You can expect about 20-24 hours of classroom instruction per week.

Classes are divided into 10 levels according to language proficiency. Core classes include instruction and practice in reading and writing, listening and speaking, grammar, and pronunciation. Our highest levels make up a concentrated preparation program to help students transition to classes at an American university.

Electives

Four hours per week are devoted to special-interest electives, which may be taken at extra cost.

TOEFL iBT Preparation, offered each term, is available to students who have high-intermediate to advanced language proficiency.

Other elective offerings vary by session. Typical offerings include American Idioms, Orientation to American Culture, Skills for University Success, Advanced Academic Listening, American Media, and Business English.

Typical schedule

You must take at least four hours of class per day: two two-hour core classes. Optional electives are available each term. Those classes typically meet four times a week for an hour.

Level 100/150, Beginner
Core I Course: Listening & Speaking
Core II Course: Reading & Writing
Sample Electives: Sounds, Spelling & Writing
Level 200/250, High-Beginner
Core I Course: Grammar, Listening & Speaking
Core II Course: Reading & Writing
Sample Electives: Building Vocabulary, Oral Proficiency, Study Skills
Level 300/350, Intermediate
Core I Course: Grammar, Listening & Speaking
Core II Course: Reading & Writing
Sample Joint Electives: American Idioms, Orientation to American Culture, Using English Every Day
Level 400/450, High-Intermediate
Core I Course: Grammar, Listening & Speaking
Core II Course: Reading & Writing
Sample Joint Electives: TOEFL iBT Preparation, Advanced Academic Vocabulary, Advanced Academic Listening, American Media, American Culture through Film, Business English
Level 500/550, Advanced
Core I Course: Grammar, Listening & Speaking
Core II Course: Reading & Writing
Sample Joint Electives: TOEFL iBT Preparation, Skills for University Success, Advanced Academic Listening, American Media, American Culture Through Film, Business English