Higher Level

ESL Higher Level (CEFR C1 - IELTS 7 – TOEFL 100)

The final stage of the Luther ESL Program is Higher Level. These students will meet with their language coaches every second day, totalling five classes every 2 weeks. These students are generally on the border between CEFR B2/C1. This program is for students ready to participate more fully in the academic program at Luther with consideration given to their level of English comprehension.

These sessions will assist students to better understand their assignments in all classes but with a particular focus on the humanities where language comprehension is a work in progress. Higher level students can participate in two humanities courses in one semester. Generally, students at this level are enrolled in English 10 and Christian Ethics. In special circumstances, to facilitate graduation, some students may take part in 3 different Humanities classes, including History. 

Higher Level students are in charge of each of their individual language sessions by bringing prepared questions about the content of their humanities courses, or goals they would like to achieve in their language development. Their coach’s role is to guide them to think critically about the content and to develop their own opinions and arguments, thus gradually helping them to become autonomous learners. The coach is not there to provide answers or edit papers. Instead, the coach’s role at this level is to help fills gaps in understanding that may occur in more demanding classes and help facilitate learning by teaching skills to their students. 

By taking charge of their language sessions, the Higher Level student should begin to develop autonomous learning skills that our students can use once they have graduated from our program. These include time management, organizations, prioritization, and several other non-academic skills that hinder success for our students. Students will spend more time learning proper search techniques, finding resources that help their grammar development and writing technique. Once these skills have been internalized, our students will be better able to navigate the challenges of school and work without the intervention of a teacher. 

Graduation from our Program

To pass from Higher Level, students must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Students at this level will be expected to pass all of the courses they are registered in and maintain an overall average of 65%.
  2. Next, the student’s English and Christian Ethics (and History if permitted) teachers must collectively agree that the student is ready to move on without further ESL support. This agreement is based on the student’s performance during class time, their level of involvement, and whether the student showed sufficient evidence of mastering course content.
  3. Finally, the student’s Higher Level coach must agree that the student is ready to move on without further ESL support based on their performance during coaching sessions. The coach will refer to the CEFR C1 benchmarks to determine whether the student is demonstrating language skills at this level, including critical thinking and clearly articulating opinions and outlining arguments in both speaking and writing, among many others.

If one or more of these three criteria are not met, then a student will likely need to repeat Higher Level ESL for another semester to make sure that the student is receiving the support they need to meet their academic goals.