English Language and American Culture (ELAC) Program



What Is The English Language And American Culture Program?
The English Language and American Culture (ELAC) Program is designed to help international students achieve English proficiency required by the degree program and expose the student to many facets of American culture. The ELAC program provides an all-around training of English-language skills in reading, listening, speaking, and writing.   

How Many Levels Are There In The ELAC Program?
The ELAC program consists of four levels

Level 1
All students: (ELA101/103/105/110) no degree courses

Level 2
All students: (ELA102/104/106/112) no degree courses

Level 3
All students: (ELA 109/130 and ENG140)
Undergraduate: plus 1 regular math class
Graduate: no regular classes

Level 4
Undergraduate: ENG141, plus 3-4 other degree courses
Graduate: ENG541 (International section for students who are unfamiliar with American academic writing formats) and Cultural Practicum, no regular classes.  This is an 8-credit hour combination of class work and practicum experience.

Why Does A Student Have To Complete The English Language And American Culture Program At Tiffin University?
Tiffin University requires all students whose native language is not English, and who do not submit an acceptable English language proficiency test score, to take a battery of tests for seated courses in any undergraduate or graduate program.

What Tests Are Required To Be Taken Upon Arrival?

  1. Accuplacer ESL:
    1. Reading Skills
    2. Sentence Meaning
    3. Language Usage
  2. TU Integrated Essay:
    1. Reading passage
    2. Related lecture/listening section
    3. Essay prompt asking students to use material from both the reading and the listening
  3. TU Oral Interview:
    1. Undergraduate students will be interviewed by the ELAC director and/or a faculty member from the school of their major.
    2. Graduate students will be interviewed by the Dean of Graduate Studies and/or the program chair of their degree program.

What If My English Language Score Met The University Requirements?
Students entering degree programs who have achieved university-stated scores on the TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB, Cambridge tests, or any other English proficiency test accepted by the university will not take the Accuplacer test.  Undergraduates will take the integrated essay test to determine placement in the appropriate section of ENG140 or ENG141.  Graduate students will take the integrated essay, the oral interview, and a plagiarism/citation quiz to confirm their ability to respond orally and in writing to the kinds of integrative questions used in graduate classes.  Graduate students who have sufficient TOEFL or other scores, but who score below a 5 on the essay and/or below a 4.4 in the interview may be assigned specific support work by the Graduate Dean and the Program Chair of their degree program.

What If I Do Not Submit An English Language Score?
Any student can be admitted to Tiffin University without an English language score.  Graduate and undergraduate students who do not have a score from an approved proficiency test will take the Accuplacer, integrated essay, and oral interview.

What If I Completed A Different English Language Program?
Students who have received certificates that indicate completion of English language training at other English-speaking universities or language schools will not take the Accuplacer, but will take the integrated essay and oral interview.  Students who have taken English classes, but have not completed a formal program and have no TOEFL, etc., will complete the entire battery of tests to determine appropriate placement in classes.  Graduate students who place into level 4 may have to take an additional plagiarism/citation quiz to confirm their ability to research, cite, and respond orally and in writing to the kinds of integrative questions used in graduate classes.

How Do I Pass The ELAC Program?
Promotions from ELAC levels will be based on the scores achieved in the TU battery of proficiency tests.  Students will be tested and placed upon arrival.  When they are placed in ELAC courses, they must pass those courses in order to earn admission to be retested at the end of the semester.  Students who do not pass all of the ELAC classes in their level will not be allowed to take the proficiency tests.  They must repeat the level.  Promotions will not be granted simply because a student has attended class consistently.  Each student must demonstrate individual ability to read, write, and speak according to the requirements for each ELAC level.  They must also demonstrate significant improvement in the online test scores.

How Long Do I Have To Pass the ELAC Program?
Students have 2 semesters to pass each level.  Any student who fails level 1 has one more semester to pass it.  They may have two semesters to pass level 2, and another two semesters to complete level 3.  It is possible to complete the 3 levels in three consecutive semesters, but it is also possible to spend up to six semesters achieving the level of proficiency necessary to succeed in undergraduate or graduate classes.  It is also possible to complete level 1 and show enough improvement to be admitted into regular classes.

What Is The Cost Of The ELAC Program?
Each ELAC course is $2,014.  How many ELAC courses you are required to take will be determined upon placement after testing.  However, the most you can possibly pay in any one semester for the program is $10,070.

What Happens If I Arrive Late To Campus?

International students must arrive by the last day to add classes (as stated in the Academic Bulletin). Students who are able to be tested for English proficiency prior to the last day to add classes may enroll in regular classes (if so placed according to the Proficiency Placement Grid). Students who do not arrive in time to be tested before the last day to add classes will automatically be placed in ELAC courses. Any student arriving after the last day to add a class will be asked to return home and defer his/her enrollment.

English Language Proficiency Policy