English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

IELP Program Information

USM's Intensive English Language Program 

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP), located on the Portland Maine Campus, is designed to meet the English Language needs of international students whose first language is not English and who wish to study at USM or other universities in the United States.

The primary focus is to help students improve their skills in:

  • Academic reading
  • Academic writing
  • Speaking 
  • Listening

The program also focuses on study skills and provides the cultural orientation necessary for student success at the university level.


All IELP classes are taught by qualified faculty. With small classes sizes (8-15 students), each student receives individualized attention. All instruction uses communicative teaching approaches to English language learning and classes are highly interactive.


Integrated into the course work are:

  • Computer skills
  • Authentic reading materials
  • Journal and Essay writing
  • Group work and pair work
  • Field trips to places of local interest
  • Interviews with native English speakers
  • Pronunciation practice


The IELP is unable to provide instruction for absolute beginners of English.

For program dates, please visit this page. 

Program costs are detailed here. 


A Typical IELP Schedule

Morning Sessions:

In the morning sessions, students will gain a stronger foundation in understanding & using English correctly. The primary focus of this class is on building skills for academic study, particularly focusing on critical reading, academic writing and expansion of vocabulary. All classes are small and interactive.

Afternoon Sessions:

The primary focus of the afternoon sessions is to help students improve in areas of spoken communication and listening comprehension, with a special focus on interviews, community outreach, and U.S. and academic culture. These classes include pair work, group work and other interactive methods as well as excursions into the local community for authentic communication opportunities.


 IELP Highlights & Features