ESL - English as a Second Language

Bar-Ilan University

Home/Students/BIU/Academics/ESL – English as a Second Language
ESL – English as a Second Language 2016-05-25T18:43:23+00:00

Bar-Ilan students who did not study in an English-speaking institution are required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, in order to graduate. Placement, course length, and exemptions are different for  Undergraduate (B.A.) or Doctoral (M.A.) students.

ESL for Undergraduate Students

All undergraduate students in Bar-Ilan University are required to complete their English as a Second Language (ESL) requirements by the end of their second academic year, and will not be able to register for third year classes until they complete all ESL requirements.

ESL Classes and Placement

There are 6 classes of ESL, into which students are placed according to a variety of criteria:

  1. Pre-Beginners I & II

    This course is designed for students with a rudimentary knowledge of English and teaches the basic fundamentals of grammar, reading, writing, conversation, and vocabulary expansion. It includes the material of ESL Beginners II.
    The course is 3 academic credits, and either spans an entire year, or a summer semester.

    • Placement: Psychometric score of 50-77 or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent.
    • Syllabus
    • Next level: Basic.
  2. Pre-Basic II

    This course is designed for students who need to improve their general English language skills, and includes grammar review, sentence structure, and vocabulary expansion.
    The course is 1 academic credit, and either spans an entire year, or a summer semester.

    • Placement: Psychometric score of 78-84 or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent.
    • Syllabus
    • Next level: Basic.
  3. Basic

    This course focuses on reading comprehension of texts in various fields, and includes various skills for language comprehension.
    The course is 2 academic credits, and either spans an entire year, or a summer semester.

    • Placement: Psychometric score of 85-94 or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent, or completion of ESL Pre-Basic
    • Syllabus
    • Next level: Advanced I.
  4. Basic II

    This course is a more advanced class than Intermediate I, and as such focuses on the same reading comprehension skills, in a more condensed fashion..
    The course is 1 academic credit, and either spans an entire year, or a summer semester.

    • Placement: Psychometric score of 95-99 or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent.
    • Syllabus
    • Next level: Advanced I.
  5. Advanced I

    This course focuses on improving reading skills in English, and aims to provide the student autonomy when reading original academic texts.
    The course is 2 academic credits, and spans a semester.

    • Placement: Psychometric score of 100-119 or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent.
    • Syllabus
    • Next Level: Advanced II
  6. Advanced II

    This course focuses on further improving academic reading skills..
    The course is 2 academic credits, and spans a semester.

    • Placement: Psychometric score of 120-133 or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent.
    • Syllabus
    • Completing this level grants exemption from ESL.

Exemptions from ESL

Students may be exempt from taking English as a Second Language (ESL) courses via the following:

  • Scoring 134 or above on the English section of the Psychometric Exam or TOEFL/ IELTS equivalent.
  • Completing a ESL track in one of the following academic institutions: Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University, Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Technion, Haifa University, Ariel University, Open University (Level A), Tel Hai College (Level A), Emek Israel College.
  • Earning a B.A. Degree from an accredited Israeli college.
  • Earning a High School diploma from an English-speaking country.
  • Earning a 500 or above on the Verbal section of the SAT.

Exemption requests should be sent to the English as a Second Language Office. Exemptions are valid for 10 years from their issuance.

ESL for Doctoral Students

Each Doctoral program in Bar-Ilan University has different ESL – English as a Second Language requirements, some exempting students entirely, while others mandating several levels of ESL. As such, it is advised to consult your academic department about your personal ESL requirements.

ESL Classes

There are 3 ESL classes for Master’s students:

  1. Level M

    This course helps develops students reading and academic writing skills, and focuses on grammatical structure and developing a written thesis.
    The course is 4 academic credits, spanning an entire year.

  2. Level M4

    This course focuses solely on improving reading and academic writing skills.
    The course is 2 academic credits, and spans a single semester.

  3. Level M2

    This course focuses solely on the mastery of academic writing.
    The course is 1 academic credit, and spans a single semester.

Placement Exam

Placement into ESL levels is determined by a placement exam offered by the English as a Second Language office. Score criteria for ESL levels and exemption is determined by your academic department. The ESL Office also provides several practice tests on their website.

There are two test dates for the placement exam, usually between the months of June and September. You can register online for the test, or via the ESL Office. As March 2016, the cost of the placement exam is 120 NIS.

You are only eligible to register for the ESL placement exam one every three years.

Exemptions from ESL

Students may be exempt from taking English as a Second Language (ESL) courses via the following:

  • Receiving an exemption score on the ESL Placement, as determined by each academic department.
  • Earning an undergraduate degree from an Engish-speaking country.
  • Earning an undergraduate degree in English from one of the following Israeli institutions: Bar-Ilan University, Ariel University, Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Ben Gurion University, Haifa University.
  • Receiving a personal exemption from one’s academic department.
  • Students in an academic track that do not require a thesis with an 85 or above on their undergraduate ESL exemption test in the past ten years, from the following Israeli institutions: Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, Ben-Gurion University, Ariel University, Hebrew University, Open University, Technion, Tel Hai College, Emek Israel College.
  • Students in an academic track that do not require a thesis with an 134 or above on their Psychometric exam, or 234 or above on the Ami”r exam, in the past ten year.
  • Students who scored a 5 or above on the English section of the GMAT. Placement into ESL Levels for GMAT scores are: 4 – Level M2; 3 – Level M4, 2 or below – Level M.
  • Students who scored a 3.5 or above on the English section of the GRE. Placement into ESL Levels for GRE scores are: 2.5 – Level M2; 2 – Level M4; 1.5 or below – Level M.
  • Students who scored a band 8-9 on the Academic IELTS. Other scores are weighed by the individual departments.

Exemption requests should be sent to the English as a Second Language Office. Exemptions are valid for 10 years from their issuance.

logobiu.png
Bldg. 1004, Room 4, Bar-Ilan University
Office Hours

S-Th: 9:00-14:00

Something missing? Found a mistake?

Click here to let us know!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.