English for Academic Purposes
Most incoming international students have completed a standardized exam of English, such as a TOEFL or IELTS test, prior to admission to the university. However, during orientation week--which is one week before classes start, the department also administers an EAP proficiency exam to measure students' active English skills for academic study. The EAP proficiency exam has three areas:
- Academic listening with follow-up questions to determine listening comprehension, note-taking abilities, and test-taking skills.
- Writing an essay to show fluency, grammatical accuracy, and ability to organize and support ideas in writing.
- Speaking test to demonstrate how well students can communicate in spoken English.
The test takes approximately two hours. The next EAP Proficiency Exam is given the week prior to when classes begin or by appointment. The exam is graded by EAP specialists and results are provided to students' academic advisors. The score results for each skilll area (listening, speaking, grammar, and writing) will indicate whether a course is required, recommended, or exempt for each student. Also, on the first day class, another proficiency exam is administered to further determine accurate placement. We have classes for intermediate and advanced levels of grammar, reading and writing, listening, and speaking/pronunciation. We also have a research writing class and a seminar for international teaching assistants and it is required for international graduate students who will instruct a class alone.
Both undergraduate and graduate students take the same EAP exams but the results are handled somewhat differently. Undergraduates must enroll in all required EAP classes during their first semester but if they also have intermediate level requirements, then the advanced courses are to be taken during their second semester. All EAP students should take at least one regular academic course per semester. Academic advisors should contact the EAP Coordinator about students with scheduling conflicts.
For graduate students, the outcomes of the EAP Proficiency Exam are slightly modified. The speaking section measures their ability to communicate for extended academic purposes. The written tests of graduate students are evaluated more closely with their majors. Since graduate students have core requirements, they generally take only the EAP courses they need the most. For academic advisors of graduate students whose results indicate required EAP courses, please contact the EAP Coordinator to determine which courses are most needed according to their other course requirements and assessed EAP skill levels.
All teaching assistants who are non-native speakers of English are requiredby Missouri law to complete EAP 5400, the ITA Seminar, a 2 or 3 hour non-credit course that is offered at no cost. Exemption from the ITA Seminar is not determined from the EAP Profieiency Exam; it must be arranged with the EAP Coordinator.