The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs at the University of Southern Maine are a dynamic, energetic learning environment, where students from all around the world join in USM’s mission to offer an outstanding education that is affordable, accessible, and of the highest quality. The ESOL programs’ caring and experienced instructors help you reach your English language and academic goals. Our rigorous courses use the latest teaching techniques and materials. Thanks to our small classes, free tutoring and personalized approach, our students learn the language skills they need to be successful in their academic majors, careers and beyond.

Our ESOL programs are located on USM’s Portland Campus, situated in the charming, seaside city, Portland, Maine. This famous tourist destination is only two hours north of Boston and provides a safe, diverse and fun place to learn and live.

During your time in our ESOL programs, you will not only learn but connect with new people from all over the world. Our instructors emphasize hands-on learning, providing opportunities to explore Maine with your classmates and teachers, developing a sense of community and deepening connections.

ESOL Students will:

Communication :

  • Produce accurate, meaningful, and college-appropriate communication, both oral and written
  • Express thoughts on a variety of topics using comprehensible pronunciation and appropriate vocabulary
  • Participate effectively in small group discussion and to speak more confidently and fluently
  • Better understand English as it is spoken in everyday conversation, in the classroom, and in the media
  • Develop better listening habits by learning and integrating listening strategies

Grammar :

  • Use complex grammatical structures to convey meaning
  • Gain proficiency in analyzing (and explaining) complex English language structures
  • Improve and demonstrate proficiency in editing for grammatical errors
  • Collaborate with other ESOL learners in exploring English grammar

Writing :  

  • Practice the steps of the writing process to produce high quality work
  • Produce well-constructed essays
  • Learn high frequency, academic vocabulary words
  • Work with writing in the computer lab

Reading :

  • Practice and improve critical academic reading skills
  • Increase reading fluency in English for university-level study and professional work situations
  • Learn specific skills to increase reading speed and comprehension