Institute for Intensive English – ESL

Welcome to the Institute for Intensive English
The Institute for Intensive English provides an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program for ESL students to enhance their English language abilities in order to further their academic, career, and/or personal goals.

Did you know Union College offers 2 ESL Programs? CEWD ESL is for beginner students, while IIE is for intermediate to advanced students. If you want more info about the other program, Visit Union’s ESL homepage.

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Current Offerings & FAQ’s

ESL Program Overview

Union College offers six levels of English as a Second Language (ESL). Beginning-level students in Levels 1 and 2 take grammar, reading, listening, and speaking in the Continuing Education Workforce Development program (CEWD). Intermediate and Advanced-level students take courses at the Institute for Intensive English in Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6. Students are expected to attend regularly and do everything expected in an academic course such as homework, quizzes and exams, and participation.

After placement testing, students enter an appropriate ESL level of instruction commensurate with their abilities. In Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6, students can register for two core EAP courses: Grammar/Writing and Reading/Listening/Speaking.

Courses are offered Monday to Friday during the day or Monday to Thursday during the evening. Students must take 2 courses to complete a level. For example, a student takes ESL 047 – Intermediate II Grammar/Writing I and ESL 048 – Intermediate II – Reading/Listening/Speaking.

Upon completing each course, there is an exit test to assess a student’s proficiency. Upon completion of Level 6, students receive a Certificate of Completion. They can take ENG 112, College Composition for ESL students (equivalent to ENG 101), along with other credit courses according to their majors.

While enrolled in EAP courses, students can take some additional content area courses, depending on their level.

For More Information:

Institute for Intensive English
Union College
Lessner Building-Room E-414
40 West Jersey St.
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
Call the Institute’s Main Phone: 908-965-6031

Elizabeth Campus – Lessner Bldg
Cranford Campus – SD 130
For more information on ESL Testing, click here.

To fill out a College Application you can go to Admissions Office on any campus or click here to fill out an Application on-line.

For more information on applying for financial aid, click here.

The Institute for Intensive English – FAQ’s

What time do classes meet?
The Institute for Intensive English (IIE) offers morning, afternoon, and evening classes. Levels 3-6 meet four – five days a week. Most grammar/writing classes meet on Mon., Wed., and Fri. from 8:00am – 10:00am, 11:15am – 1:15pm; 5:40pm- 8:30pm, or 7:10pm – 10:00pm. Most reading/listening/speaking courses meet on Tues. and Thur. from 8:00am-10:25am, 11:00am – 1:25pm, 5:40pm-8:05pm, or 7:10pm-9:35pm.

How long is a semester?
A semester is 14 weeks plus exams. Spring 2022 begins on January 24, 2022 and ends on May 17th. Summer I begins June 1st and ends July 8th. Summer II begins July 13th and ends August 18th.

What kind of questions are on the placement test?
The test consists of 50 multiple-choice grammar items, a multiple-choice reading test, and an essay. Click here for more testing information. Students do not need appointments to take the tests. Walk in at the Student Development Building in Cranford or the Testing Center on the first floor in Elizabeth.

I took ESL in high school. Do I have to take ESL at Union College?
In general, you must take the ESL placement test to determine if you still need ESL. If you attended middle school in the U.S. and all four years of high school, you may not need to take the ESL placement test if you took all of your classes in English. The IIE Director will decide who needs to take the test. Call 908-965-6031, visit the IIE office, or email:

Do I have to buy textbooks?
Yes, you do. There is an annual $140 book subscription fee. Students have to pay extra for the required novels.

Where do I get my textbooks?
Students get their textbooks at the campus bookstore or online.

What other courses can I take?
Level 3: Conversation/Pronunciation I – ESL 073 and math courses with permission

Level 4: Conversation/Pronunciation I – ESL 073; Math courses according to placement; FIA 109-Drawing I; FIA 110-Painting 1

Level 5: Conversation/Pronunciation II – ESL 074; Math courses according to placement; AUT-100-Automotive Fundamentals, BSM 101-Intro. to Sport Management, MET 109-Computer-Aided Drafting, EGG 111-Engr. & Computer Graphics, HSM 100- Intro. to Hospitality Mgmt., FIA 109 and FIA 110.

Level 6: Conversation/Pronunciation II – ESL 074; all of the above courses, and FIA 104 -Intro. to 2D Design, FIA 105-Music Appreciation, AUT 101 – Steering/Suspension Systems, CST 100 – Intro. to Computer Applications, PSY 101 – General Psychology, SOC 101- Principles of Sociology; BSM 110 – Evolution of American Sports, BUS 101- Intro. to Business; BUS 105 – Organization and Mgmt. , SCM 101 – Intro. to Supply Chain Mgmt., ENG 128 – Dynamics of Communication, HSM 110 – Food and Beverage Mgmt., CRJ 101- Criminal Justice, COM 100 – Communication Technologies, ALH 161 -Medical Terminology; CST 161- Computer Programming Fundamentals; EMT 100 – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; FST 105 – Fire Prevention; LIS 105 – Methods in Library Research

Will I have homework and tests?
Yes. All students will have homework, quizzes, a midterm exam and a final exam.

Can I study part-time?
Students who take 11 credits or fewer = part-time; 12 credits or more = full-time

If my job shift changes, can I change my class?
It is very difficult to change classes after the semester begins. If you need to change your class time, you must do it before the registration period ends.

How do I pay for my course?
Visit the College’s “Pay For College” page