Language Development

Language Development at Esperanza College


Use of English or Spanish:

Besides being the dominant language of the United States of America, English is the language of the professional world. To expect to succeed in business, in education, in the criminal justice system, in social work, in healthcare, or virtually any other field, a mastery of English communication is a must. Though Esperanza attracts a large pool of Hispanic students, all students will be expected to graduate having demonstrated proficiency in spoken and academic English. Esperanza College is neither a Spanish nor a bilingual school. It is an urban college seeking, among other things, to improve the English communication skills of all its students, whether of White, African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage.

To accomplish this, Esperanza College expects students and professors to engage one another in English. As our Student Handbook indicates, this is not because we believe English to be a "better" language, but because we believe English will be more conducive to career placement and advancement. We are mindful of where students come from, but we are also mindful of where we hope they will go.

Two Tracks, One Goal: The Language Transition Track

At Esperanza College, we do consider the difficulties facing recent immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries. All our students are required to take entrance exams in English and Spanish. We cover the cost and use the scores to establish placement into one of two different educational "tracks." For students who are not yet ready to develop the English language (the Language Development Track, or LDT), we provide a unique transition system called the Language Transition Track (LTT).

For the first semester, LTT students can take courses that are taught mostly in Spanish, though accompanied by English terminology and/or readings. At the same time, LTT students take a rigorous but language-conscious English course. As their English matures, such students begin to transition into English. In their second semester, students in the LTT take bilingual English/Spanish courses, taught so as to ready them for full-blown English classes. By their second year (third and fourth semesters), all courses are taught in English. Program courses are, therefore, taught in English, the language most useful for professional development in the fields. This transition gives opportunity to students who would like to further their careers and education but have a language handicap other schools do not address.

All our students are expected to develop their language skills, whether or not they are in the LDT or LTT track. We aim to graduate students who are fully capable of immersion in the English language in any professional or educational setting.