Intensive English Program (IEP)

The St. Mary’s University Intensive English Program (IEP) currently offers four (4) progressive levels of intensive English.

Our IEP follows the St. Mary’s University calendar and our courses are 14-16 weeks long . During the academic year, we also offer the higher level students extra classes that are fun courses that not only support IEP students to prepare and succeed as university students but also help them communicate with other students on campus and enjoy all the activities here in San Antonio.


Level 1This course integrates grammar skills with listening, speaking, writing and reading activities based on common topics.
Level 2This course helps students to understand and use basic grammar structures. Students learn to recognize and produce simple, compound, and basic complex sentences necessary for writing tasks.
Level 3This course builds upon basic grammar structures to include additional verb tenses and complex sentences that support writing skills.
Level 4This course helps students use advanced grammar structures for effective college-level writing.
University PreparationThis course is designed to have students actively use college –level grammar in context – specifically, by reading and writing at an advanced level.  Students will explore a variety of texts, identify complex grammatical structures, and then, using these structures as models, create their own sentences, paragraphs and essays.  Self-editing is emphasized.
Listening and Speaking
Level 1In this course, students learn basic conversational skills on familiar topics for every day communications. Speaking activities help students with pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm of common words and phrases of American English.
Level 2This course helps students learn effective conversational and listening skills to function in a variety of personal, academic and/or professional situations. They practice speaking strategies that help them communicate with increased proficiency and confidence.
Level 3This course helps students improve oral communication skills in a variety of personal, professional, and/or academic situations. They also learn to talk about and describe events and situations in group discussions and presentations. Listening activities provide students opportunities to understand spoken English from authentic sources.
Level 4In this course, students improve oral communication fluency and conversational strategies necessary to communicate in a wide range of personal, professional, academic, and cultural situations. Students also listen to English speakers in a variety of authentic real-world situations to understand different points of view to function in a global community.
University PreparationThis course helps students plan and deliver well-organized academic presentations. Students will learn the fundamentals of presenting information in public, as well as specific academic presentation styles.  During this class, students engage in peer evaluations, practice sessions, revision sessions, and one-on-one conferencing with their instructor.
Level 1In this beginning reading course, students read short personal stories and texts. They also learn basic strategies and vocabulary that aid reading comprehension. Students entering this class should have basic literacy.
Level 2This course helps students improve reading comprehension of various reading selections from basic academic texts and personal interest stories. Students learn specific reading strategies and increase vocabulary.
Level 3This course focuses on improving the students’ reading skills, vocabulary and comprehension. Students read a selection of fiction and nonfiction texts and apply new knowledge to personal experiences and academic assignments.
Level 4In this course, students read a variety of authentic selections that include various ideas and perspectives as well as different political and cultural values. Students are encouraged to become independent thinkers by analyzing opposing views.
University PreparationIn this course, students will hone essay and research-oriented reading skills. Through reading authentic materials, including college texts and/or literature, students gain the necessary critical reading and thinking skills required for college-level assignments.
Level 1In this course, students practice and apply basic structures of English grammar, correct spelling and accurate punctuation to produce simple writing tasks on personal topics.
Level 2In this course, students develop and apply basic writing skills for personal, academic, and professional communications. They produce a series of simple and compound sentences, as well as short paragraphs on personal topics.
Level 3In this course, students develop writing fluency and vocabulary by using complex writing skills for personal, academic, and professional communications. They produce well-constructed paragraphs with clear topic sentences, supporting details and a conclusion. They also use editing and revising strategies.
Level 4In this course, students develop greater writing fluency and vocabulary by using more complex grammar structures and vocabulary to produce and revise multi-paragraph essays necessary for academic and professional communications.
University PreparationIn this course, students develop essay and research-oriented writing skills.  Students will read a variety of academic publications, essays, and papers to deconstruct academic writing.


For more information on the Intensive English Program, email

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