Special Programs

International sections build from the diverse perspectives and cultural and linguistic experiences that student bring with them.

English as an Additional Language

International Student Support

The English as an Additional Language Program offers curricular and extra-curricular support to Columbia students whose core literacy instruction occurred in languages other than English through specialized course offerings and individual tutoring.

Students are advised to take EAL/International courses based on their iBT (or comparable exam) scores and/or results from the COMPASS test. Students who have home/heritage languages other than English and who have been in the United States for less than 6-8 years should also enroll in the international sections of the courses. All of the courses share goals, objectives, and course design with non-international sections, but they are designed to specifically address the needs of EAL students in the following ways:

  • International sections are taught by faculty who specialize in working with EAL students.
  • International sections limit enrollment to 12 students so that teachers are able to spend more time with individual students.
  • International sections build from the diverse perspectives and cultural and linguistic experiences that student bring with them and provide targeted instruction for the cultural and linguistic challenges that students may face in the US classroom.
  • International sections of Writing and Rhetoric and Oral Expression provide weekly, one-hour tutoring sessions with EAL specialists in the Columbia College Chicago Writing Center.

The Academic EAL Program is part of the college-level academic program at Columbia College Chicago and does not have a separate application for admissions. Visit our International Admissions page for more information.


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