Rhetoric and Composition
Department Chair:
Laurie McMillin

Phone: (440) 775-6601
Fax: (440) 775-8619

Rice 116
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language

Special Information for Students Who Are Speakers of English as an Additional Language at Oberlin

The college has developed a number of courses and programs for students who need help with the writing of English as a Second Language (ESL). A placement test given before the start of the academic year begins will help determine the course ESL students should take. Katerina Grim in the Dean of Studies Office oversees the ESL program and can help place you in the appropriate course.

Academic Skills Mastery Courses

Many Oberlin College and Conservatory students profit from taking courses offered by the Learning Assistance Program in Student Academic Services. This department offers foundation courses in Quantitative Skills, Analytical Reading Skills, Study Skills, and ESL

English Language Courses for ESL students

English language instruction for international students is provided through the Learning Assistance Program (LRNS) and through the Department of Rhetoric and Composition.

LRNS 110. English as a Second Language I (Elementary level) 3EX

First Semester.An intensive course designed for new students who are non-native speakers of English and whose experience with the English language is limited. The four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) will be taught simultaneously with special emphasis on the acquisition of grammar as well as practice in speaking and writing. Note: Enrollment depends on placement test scores. Consent of instructor required.

LRNS 111. English as a Second Language II (Intermediate level) 3EX

First and Second Semester.An intensive course designed to build upon skills developed in LRNS 110 and to increase mastery of the basic language skills at the intermediate and upper-intermediate levels. Prerequisite: LRNS 110 or qualification by placement test. Consent of instructor required.

LRNS 112. English as a Second Language III (Advanced level) 3EX

First and Second Semester.An intensive course designed for the advanced student of English as a second language to increase fluency, build rich vocabulary, and practice the use and understanding of idiomatic English. This course will focus on the use of English for academic purposes and academic writing in particular. Prerequisite: LRNS 111 or qualification by placement test. Consent of instructor required.

Department of Rhetoric and Composition courses

International students who have tested out of the ESL courses or who have passed them may wish to have additional instruction in the conventions of American academic discourse. They should consider take RHET 113, Writing for College and Beyond or RHET 115, Entering Discourse Communities.


The Rhetoric and Composition Department staffs the Writing Center with peer tutors/writing associates who are trained to help you with writing issues in your courses. You may see them without an appointment during open hours to discuss writing -- at any stage in the process. The Writing Center is in Mudd 205. Check there for hours.

Tutorial help in the academic content of courses is available for most 100 and 200 level courses across the college. If you need a tutor, see Lynda Lee, Tutor Coordinator, Peters 116. If you are experiencing difficulty in a course because of problems with reading and writing in English, see Katerina Grim, who can discuss your options with you.

Special Advising

The office of Student Academic Services also provides services from two special advisors, Brenda Grier-Miller (Peters 113) and Sammie Davis-Dyson (Peters 112).

To avail yourself of any of these services or for more information, go to Peters 118 or Peters 116.

You may discuss your academic needs by contacting:

  • Melissa Ballard (Study and Reading Skills)
  • Larissa Fekete (ESOL) - Bibbins Hall 113 - 58200
  • Kay Knight (Quantitative Skills) - Peters 114 - 58464
  • Jan Boomer (Reading Skills / Students with Disabilities) - Peters 118 - 58464
  • Laurie McMillin (Rhetoric and Composition) - King 139 - 58614