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We saw the situation as slightly different depending on whether the
prospective student was a recent immigrant or visa holder or a person
with several years' residence and perhaps high school or some college
courses in the US.
The first group is easy to identify because they must contact our
admissions department to get their visas checked.  We require the ESL
placement test for some visa students, depending on their educational
background; I include the details at the end of this message.
The second group can be more difficult to identify.  Our college
application includes a check box so students can identify themselves as
non-native speakers.  The COMPASS demographic battery includes the same
question.
If somehow we still haven't identified a student as needing ESL
placement testing, the scores on the standard COMPASS placement tests
can be an indication.  About half of our students are asked to do a
writing sample, and when this shows problems with English syntax, our
sample readers pick up on that and can check other signals, such as an
unusually low score on the standard COMPASS reading test.
Here's the policy stated in our catalog:
Non-Native Speakers of English (English Proficiency)
Admitted curricular and non-curricular students from countries other
than
Australia, English speaking Canadian provinces, English speaking
Caribbean
island nations, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, New
Zealand, or
the United States will be required to demonstrate their proficiency in
English
prior to enrollment. To document English proficiency, applicants may
forward
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores or appropriate
substitute
documents to the Central Admissions and Records Office. A minimum
score of 550 is required on the paper TOEFL; a score of 213 is required
on the
computerized TOEFL. A minimum rating of '5' on the Test of Written
English is
also required. Appropriate substitute documents would include completion
of
a post-secondary degree or the equivalent of ENG111 (English
Composition)
with a grade of 'C' or better at an institution located in one of the
countries listed
above. Non-native speaking applicants who cannot present the minimum
required TOEFL score or a substitute document must schedule an ESL test
with the ESL office. The college's ESL assessment will also involve a
personal
interview and submission of a written assignment. Questions about ESL
test
waivers should be directed to the ESL Department.
The ESL assessment will result in one of the following:
* Clearance to take the college's COMPASS placement tests with native
speakers of English (no ESL classes required);
* Initial placement into intensive ESL classes only (no academic classes
permitted until ESL department documents preparedness); or,
* Initial placement into certain ESL classes with permission to enroll
in a
limited area of academic subjects.
Note: Admitted students with ESL requirements will be required to
complete
these satisfactorily prior to progressing in certain curricular
programs, such as
Nursing. Please refer to the Program Information section in this
Catalog. F-1 Visa
applicants should refer to the International Admission section in this
catalog.

-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Laura Symons
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: ESL COMPASS

Hello Folks,

I have an urgent question about placement testing.  We are beginning an
= ESL program and need to be giving the COMPASS ESL placement to the =
appropriate students.  Every student (who hasn't taken SAT's) takes a =
placement test with us.  Up until now it was the same test for everyone.
=  Now we have to discern which of the students need ESL and which need
= the regular test. If there's anyone on the list who has a similar =
situation, could you tell me what you do?  I assume we are going to have
= to ask addition questions of each student who comes in for placement =
test.  Of course, the vice president wants a report of the new =
procedures by 9:00 am Monday :-)

If you want to reply off list, my email is [log in to unmask] Thanks for
= whatever advice you can give me.=20

Laura Symons

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