English Language Support Program

Advancing communication for scholarship, research, and teaching

For information about ELSP's mission, assessment requirements,testing dates or course schedule, scroll down or click on a topic below.

ELSP Mission & Handbook

The English Language Support Program (ELSP) strives to provide high quality language instruction to students whose first language is other than English and to encourage on-going and long term improvement of speaking and writing skills. The curriculum focuses on the development of accurate advanced language skills for graduate level study, Emory teaching roles and the speaking demands of the professional world inside and outside the university community.  We believe that language instruction early in the first year and a half of a student’s studies ensures reliable second language acquisition, which inevitably translates into stronger graduate performance. 

Students are required to take the English Language Placement tests (speaking and writing) before they register for classes. In some cases, students can be screened by the Testing Director. Based on the initial speaking and writing scores, classes will be required or recommended.

Assessment and support courses are offered to degree-seeking students and to Emory research employees who qualify for the courtesy scholarship award.

For more information, please review the ELSP Handbook. 

ELSP Handbook (2014-15)

Assessment Requirements for Students in the Laney Graduate School

All degree-seeking students, regardless of citizenship status or educational background, whose first language is other than English must take the Laney Graduate School English Language Proficiency Test or receive an exemption from the ELSP testing director before registering for degree classes or participating in TATTO. This assessment is not used in the admissions process, but for teaching recommendations and placement of students who need English language support.

ELSP Assessment Scoring Description

If you have questions about the assessment and course requirements, please contact Alan Forsyth at 404-727-6921 or alan.forsyth@emory.edu.

(Questions? See Frequently Asked Questions About Testing at right)

More about the Speaking Assessment

The Initial Speaking Assessment consists of a thirty-minute recorded conversation between a trained interviewer and a student. The speech sample is scored by two raters and measures patterns of strengths and weaknesses establishing the student’s level of consistent functional ability. A ranking system of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior with low, mid, and high sub-categories within each level (except Superior) is used to describe the student's oral proficiency.

Based on the score, a graduate student may be required to take ELSP support courses and will receive recommendations for participating in TATTO, if needed. 

Upon completion of required speaking course sequence, students take the Post Speaking Assessment. The Post Assessment is similar to the Initial Assessment and shows proficiency in spoken skills after the required coursework has been completed.  

More about the Writing Assessment

The Writing Assessment requires the student to complete a one-hour essay on a designated academic topic. The essay measures writing competence and is evaluated and scored by two trained raters.

A ranking system of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior is used to describe the student’s writing proficiency with low, mid, and high sub-categories within each level (except Superior). A student who scores Superior, Advanced High or Advanced Mid has no ELSP writing course requirements. A student who scores Advanced Low is recommended to take one course in the fall (ELSP 510). A student who scores Intermediate High, Mid, or Low is required to complete a two-course sequence (ELSP 510, ELSP 511).

Laney Graduate School Testing Dates

Here is the Fall 2014 test schedule, based on programs of study. The testing location is Room 101 of the North Decatur Building. 

Biomedical Engineering (Georgia Tech/Emory University joint program):

Tuesday, August 12
1:15 pm - 3:30 pm, N. Decatur Bldg., Room 101

Chemistry, Physics, Religion:

Wednesday, August 13
8:30 am - 11:30 pm, N. Decatur Bldg., Room 101

Business (PhD), Health Services Research and Health Policy:

Tuesday, August 19
1:15 pm - 3:30 pm, N. Decatur Bldg., Room 101

Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Bioethics, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Nursing (PhD):

Wednesday, August 20
8:30 am - 11:30 pm, N. Decatur Bldg., Room 101

Biostatistics, Computer Science, Mathematics:

Thursday, August 21
8:30 am - 11:30 pm, N. Decatur Bldg., Room 101

All Other Programs:

Friday, August 22
8:30 am - 11:30 pm, N. Decatur Bldg, Room 101

Course Schedule

For the Fall 2014 course schedule, click on the document below. 

ELSP Fall 2014 Course Schedule

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Frequently Asked Questions About Testing