English Language Studies Program (ELSP)

Mission Statement and Purposes

ELSP in Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America is a place that offers diverse educational and cultural classes and seeks to serve community within a cooperative and nurturing environment. ESL Program exists to identify and accentuate the strength and personhood of each individual through its classes and activities. Through interactive and diverse approach to teaching in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in all academic areas we respond to the educational goal of each student. This sense of connection develops English language proficiency.


The objectives for ELSP

The objectives of the ELSP are to develop both basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency, to develop proficiency in the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to develop competence in intercultural interactions, and to encourage participation in the advanced education curriculum and in extracurricular activities in our school.


ELSP Method of Instruction 

PTSA ELSP provides varied classes focus on development of general English language skills. These classes usually address English language skills development in the context of topics or functions of daily life, such as going to the doctor’s office, shopping, visit museum. Giving students the opportunity to interact with the teacher and with each other, planning instruction around tasks that promote field trips, outdoor activities, and teaching language forms in the context of meaningful learning activities are applications of second language research to the classroom environment.

PTSA ELSP employs a number of different approaches to language acquisition and ELSP techniques that match the diverse needs, motivations, and goals of the learners and provide opportunities for interaction, problem solving, and task-based learning where learners can use English. PTSA ELSP teachers use technology both as an instructional tool such as integrating multimedia packages and PowerPoint presentations into instruction and as instructional content itself for example  learning word processing programs, using the Web to access information, and using English through email communications, watching document film, movies and dramas. ELSP teachers use technology to expand or individualize learning inside and outside the classroom in accordance with learners’ language proficiency, preferences, and needs and to potentially reach learners for individualized activity stations and self-access learning labs.


Admission Requirements (General)

Those admitted to the ELSP are required to:

  • Be 18 years of age or over.
  • Have a high school certificate of graduation, or a GED.
  • Have the endorsement of the ELSP faculty committee (consisting of the Director of ELSP and core group of teachers)


Admission for International Students

Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America (PTSA) is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant international students by the issuance of SEVIS I-20 form as certification of eligibility for admission. International students must:

  • Be 18 years of age or over.
  • Have a high school certificate of graduation, or a GED (approved by the Korean Ministry of Education, or the appropriate governmental educational agency from the student’s origin).
  • Have the endorsement of the ELSP faculty committee (consisting of the Director of ELSP and core group of teachers)

·         Download an application for ELSP.

·         Send in an application and all required documents and financial payment.

·         Be approved for ELSP.

·         Receive an I-20.

·         Receive an F-1 visa to attend as a non-immigrant international student.

·         Arrive approximately within 30 days of when the semester begins.

·         Make an appointment and visit the Dean of International Student Affairs for counseling regarding their non-immigrant F-1 visa status.


Please note that international persons having an E, R and H visa, and their spouses are allowed to study ELSP at PTSA. Students who are studying under an E, R and H visa must carefully watch when their nonimmigrant visas expires, and allow (4) months for a change of status application to be processed and final decision rendered.


PTSA will not assist students and their spouses who want to study and need to change their status to F-1. Students and spouses must utilize the services of an attorney to change their status. Students must recognize that the application of a change of status does not guarantee approval of the change of status. PTSA is not responsible for SEVIS’s final decision.


PTSA will accept transfer students from another college who are “terminated” F-1 status on an individual basis after careful review of the situation by the ELSP director and Dean of International Student Affairs. A reinstatement will be required by the “terminated” status student and the time duration for this process can be 3-4 months. Those interested in a reinstatement must utilize the services of an attorney. The student will be allowed to enroll and take classes while the reinstatement request is processed. If the reinstatement is denied, the student will no longer be able to continue their studying at PTSA. Only one reinstatement petition is permitted per student.


Transfer Students

Transfer students from another English language learning center / or some English language learning must:

Complete the English Placement Exam and begin enrolling in courses at the level selected by the ELSP faculty committee.

Complete a least (1) one semester of full-time ELSP coursework at PTSA.

Complete their remaining ELSP coursework with a GPA of (C or 2.0) or higher.

Have the endorsement of the ELSP faculty committee.


Graduation requirements

To graduate, a student must have minimum grade average of 70% (C-) or better, maintain an 80% attendance ratio, fulfill all other requirements stated in this catalog, and be in good financial standing with the school.


Placement Exam

All students are required to take a Presbyterian Theological Seminary (PTSA) English Placement Test (PEPT), and according to their results, they will be placed in courses at their level of proficiency in English. The placement exam is given (two-three weeks prior) to the semester beginning and on new student orientation day. Please schedule your arrival early enough for you to participate in the PEPT. The placement test cost is $25.00 per person on the placement test date. If you miss that date, the placement test cost is $100.00 per person.


The placement exam consists of three (3) parts:

  1. Standardized test (assessing listening, grammar, vocabulary and reading level)
  2. Oral interview (assessing speaking and comprehension level)
  3. Writing test (assessing writing and grammar level)


The results of the placement test are reviewed by a committee of teachers and the Director of the ELSP to ensure that the student/audit student is placed at the appropriate level. The placement test usually takes 2.5 hours to complete.


When are ELSP Classes offered?

The ELSP courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer:

Fall semester (September through December) - 15 weeks

Spring semester (January through May) - 15 weeks

Summer semester (May through August) - 15 weeks



ELSP Academics


Curriculum ELSP is organized at six achievement levels:

Level 1: Beginning Level (20 hours/week; 300 hours/semester)

Level 2:  High beginning-Low Intermediate (20 hours/week; 300 hours/semester)

Level 3: Low Intermediate-Intermediate (20 hours/week; 300 hours/semester)

Level 4: Intermediate-High Intermediate (20 hours/week; 300 hours semester)

Level 5: High Intermediate-Low Advanced (20 hours/week; 300 hours/semester)

Level 6: Low Advanced-Advanced/ TOEFL prep (20 hours/week; 300 hours/semester)


Total hours per class per week: 4 hours/week

Total hours per week: 20 hours

Total hours per semester: 300 hours (Fall, spring and summer)

Total hours per program: 1,800 hours


Credit for existing degree programs at Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America

Please keep in mind that if a student intends to apply for a program of study at Presbyterian Theological Seminary in America (PTSA), they must fulfill the requirements of that particular program (B.Th., M.Div.) in order to be accepted into that program. Finishing the ELSP does not fulfill any of the requirements and does not assume acceptance into that program. 


ELSP graduates desiring to begin B.Th. or M.Div. program studies at PTSA may elect and receive up to 12 credits towards the B.Th. degree and up to 3 credits towards the M.Div. degree. If the student elects to do so it comes with the understanding that these credits take the place of all the elective options and that the student will not be allowed to take any additional English courses for credit. Any additional English courses taken by the student will only count as extra or additional units not towards the degrees. The student will be encouraged to register/take the core courses only that fulfill the degree requirements.


ELSP Course Descriptions


Level 1: Proficiency if Minimal (Beginning)


LA 100(4 hours) A Listening / Pronunciation 1

For non-native speakers with minimal proficiency in the English language. Focus is on understanding spoken English, producing the sounds of the English language and carrying on a simple conversation with a native speaker.


RB 100 B(4 hours) Reading 1

Practice in using a monolingual English dictionary, reading and following written directions, scanning and skimming, recognizing the main idea, using context clues to arrive at the meaning of unknown words and making inferences.


GC 100 C(4 hours) Grammar / Oral 1

Oral and written practice of grammatical structures at the beginning level.


SD 100 D(4 hours)  Speaking 1

Students participate in simulations concerning topics that help with getting along in the United States in an academic setting.


WF 100 F(4 hours)  Writing 1

Practice in using a monolingual English dictionary. Sentence and paragraph development is emphasized.


Level 2: Proficiency is Elementary (Upper Beginning to Lower Intermediate)


LA 101 A(4 hours)  Listening / Pronunciation 2

Understanding and following instructions, listening strategies and taking notes from simulated academic lectures. Specific pronunciation problems are addressed.


RB 101 B(4 hours)  Reading 2

Continued strengthening and practice using a monolingual English dictionary, reading, and reading skills. Summarizing, recognizing facts, inferences, conclusions, deductions and paraphrasing are introduced.


GC 101 C(4 hours)  Grammar  Oral 2

Review of structures in ELSP 100 C and contrast of tenses are emphasized.


SD 101 D(4 hours) Speaking 2

For non-native speakers desiring to adjust to life in the United States. Topics are similar to ELSP 100 D Speaking 1, but with a broader range of communication skills added.


WF 101 F(4 hours) Writing 2

Continued practice using a monolingual English dictionary and skills covered in ELSP 100 F Writing 1. Developing writing strategies and writing detailed paragraphs and compositions: description, comparison / contrast and cause / effect.


Level 3: Proficiency is Intermediate (Intermediate to Upper Intermediate)


LA 102 A(4 hours) Academic Listening 3

Practice in understanding, following and taking notes on authentic academic lectures.


RB 102 B(4 hours) Reading 3

Continued practice of the skills taught in ELSP 101 B Reading 2. Readings are more authentic and require more sustained reading.


GC 102 C(4 hours) Grammar / Oral 3

Review of all grammar structures in oral and written form.


SD 102 D(4 hours) Effective Communication

For non-native speakers desiring to improve their academic communication skills. Activities are designed to teach class discussion, group discussion and presentation skills.


WF 102 F(4 hours) Writing 3

Continued practice of ELSP 101F Writing 2 with the addition of paraphrasing, quoting, proper formatting, proper citation, avoiding plagiarism, and compositional development.



Level 4: Proficiency is Advanced (Advanced and Academic in Nature)


WF 103(4 hours) Essay & Academic Writing

Studies in essay organization and development and critical analysis and reading.


WW 104(4 hours) Writing Workshop

Individualized instruction in essay organization and coherence with special attention to persistent errors.


SD 105(4 hours) Oral/Communication Workshop

Emphasis on listening skills, pronunciation, conversational strategies, oral presentations, peer review/critique, and formal readings/messages.


TF 106(4 hours) TOEFL  (Academic ELSP Only)

A course that prepares students to take the TOEFL exam. A practice exam will be given at the end of term, and additional help for the student to register for the TOEFL.


Everyday English Program


GC 200(4 hours) English Grammar through Biography / Novel

Review of the parts of speech. Introduction to the elements of writing, sentence structure, and punctuation, and content-based learning of grammar. Study is tailored to individualized learning needs.


RB 200(4 hours) Reading through Biography /Novel

Students read a variety of texts. Work on reading comprehension, vocabulary building, idioms, and contextual clues are experienced. Students pose questions about the readings. Thematic discussions enliven understanding of texts.


SD 200(4 hours) Speech through Watching News

Students read newspaper articles; engage in conversation regarding contemporary life; and write summaries of news stories. Listening exercises to improve listening capabilities are provided.


GC201(4 hours) Pronunciation through Watching News

Review of Standard American English is given. Discussion of philosophy of language is included. Content-based exercises in which the students engage in speaking opportunities are offered.


SD201(4 hours) Speech and Discussion through Watching News

Students engage in conversation and discussion-based language learning.


CN200(4 hours) Conversation through Watching Drama

Students view films or television programs. Review expressions within the script. Engage in cultural conversations regarding the productions.


BE200(4 hours) Business English

Individualized program for practical use of Business English in executive settings.


PE200(4 hours) Educational English

Individualized program teaching qualitative research approaches.


EM100(4 hours) Learning English Grammar with quotes from the Christian Bible.

This class provides English grammar and writing instruction using the Christian Bible. This class provides instruction with meaningful examples for lifelong learning. These quotes are taken from the Bible and used to express various English grammar topics.


EM200(4 hours) Learning English through Biblical Literature

This class focuses on a Bible passage rich with idiomatic expressions or literary devices. At the same time this class provides a specific theme (e.g. temptation, love) to stimulate meaningful discussion among students.


EM210(4hours) English Dictation using the Bible

This class provides writing practice in English. Students write or type what they hear. Listen as many times as necessary and check answers. This class helps student’s spelling, listening and understanding skills.