Skip to Navigation
    Ohio University
   
 
  Oct 17, 2017
 
 
    
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18

Ohio Program of Intensive English



Return to Departments and Schools Return to: Departments and Schools

Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE)
Gordy Hall 155
Phone: 740.593.4575
Fax: 740.593.4577

opie@ohio.edu
http://www.ohio.edu/linguistics/opie 

Dr. Christopher Thompson, Chair, Department of Linguistics
Dr. Gerard Krzic, Director of OPIE

The Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) at Ohio University has been providing English language instruction to international students since 1967. OPIE is a member of the University Consortium of Intensive English Programs (UCIEP), a professional organization that oversees university-based intensive English programs in the United States. The mission of OPIE is to raise the English language proficiency level and intercultural fluency of non-native speakers who will use English for academic study at institutions of higher education and/or professional purposes. The OPIE mission consists of five components: Teaching, Testing, Orientation/Cross-Cultural Support, Program Development, and the Training and Supervision of Teaching Associates.

OPIE offers three levels of full-time English study and two levels of part-time English study in its Bridge Levels (a combination of English and academic studies). Students are placed into a particular level based on the results of the OPIE Composition exam* and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Institutional Testing Program (ITP), a paper-based test conducted upon a student’s arrival to Ohio University. This test has three sub-tests: listening, structure/written expression, and reading.

*The OPIE Composition rubric can be found in the OPIE Handbook.

I. Full-time English Study Levels

Full-time English study consists of twenty hours of OPIE-only classroom instruction per week, augmented with structured and independent use of reading, writing, pronunciation, and computer labs. Students at the full-time levels do not take academic courses. Each full-time level is comprised of two component courses depending on sufficient student enrollment (e.g. the Intermediate Level consists of Intermediate and High-Intermediate component courses). One course addresses lower to middle-level skill abilities, while the other addresses middle to higher-level skill abilities at that specific stage of English study. Completion of both component courses is not required. Instead, students are placed into levels and courses based on their entry-level and subsequent end-of-semester English proficiency.

The following information describes each level with a typical TOEFL ITP score and the minimum amount of time a student can expect to study English prior to beginning either part-time or full-time academic studies. Three semesters of study (42 weeks) is equal to one calendar year (i.e., Fall, Spring, Summer semesters).

Elementary Level: OPIE D100/D200, D101/D201, D102/D202

Students entering the Elementary Level typically have the following language test scores:

  • TOEFL ITP: 399 and below
  • OPIE Composition: 1A/1B
  • English Placement Test: 50 and below.

Assuming normal progress in their language coursework, students at this level can expect to study three semesters (42 weeks) of English before beginning at least part-time academic and part-time English coursework in the OPIE Bridge Levels.

The OPIE Elementary Level consists of two components: the Foundations Course and the Elementary Course. Students in the Foundations Course receive instruction in beginning listening and speaking skills along with appropriate communicative responses, with out-of-class exposure to native speakers in the form of field trips and daily situational encounters. Appropriate phrases and structures for daily use are introduced along with the basic cultural elements that make beginning communication possible. Students are familiarized with the basics of the English alphabet and handwriting. Beginning level sentence patterns are introduced as well as the rudiments of English punctuation. Basic English literacy skills are presented with materials appropriate for adult learners.

The Elementary Course focuses on learning American English for effective communication both inside and outside the classroom. While grammatical structures and interactional listening/speaking skills are emphasized, reading and writing are gradually introduced along with study skills.

Intermediate Level: OPIE D300/400, D301/D401, D302/D402

Students entering the OPIE Intermediate Level typically have the following language test scores:

  • TOEFL ITP: 400 to 449
  • OPIE Composition: 2A/2B
  • English Placement Test: 51 to 64.

Assuming normal progress in their language coursework, students at this level can expect to study two semesters (28 weeks) of English before beginning at least part-time academic and part-time English coursework in the OPIE Bridge Levels.

The OPIE Intermediate Level consists of two components: the Intermediate Course and the High-Intermediate Course. Classes are designed for preparing students aiming at academic study. Students develop fluency and accuracy in oral skills and pronunciation with focus on transactional activities and extended discourse.  Paragraph level writing competency is developed as students expand grammatical knowledge and explore the process of writing, and write longer pieces of text.  Reading comprehension and vocabulary acquire greater emphasis with more attention to academic vocabulary and text organization.

Advanced Level: OPIE D500/600, D701, D702

Students entering this level typically have the following language test scores: 

  • TOEFL ITP: 450 to 499
  • OPIE Composition: 3A/3B
  • English Placement Test: 65 and above.

Assuming normal progress in their language coursework, students can expect to study one semester (14 weeks) of English before beginning at least part-time academic and part-time English coursework in the OPIE Bridge Levels.

The OPIE Advanced Level consists of two components: the Advanced Course and the Pre-Academic Course. Students at this level do not take academic courses unless given special permission. Advanced students incorporate understanding of grammatical structures, appropriate vocabulary, and organization into formally developed essays.  More emphasis is placed on rhetorical modes and developing editing skills.  Reading comprehension and lexical skill development is emphasized along with the improvement of reading rate.  Students learn to synthesize the various skills and strategies to which they have been exposed.  Listening and speaking skill activities rely more heavily on actual academic task simulation and university level expectations.

II. Bridge Levels (Part-time English and Part-time Academic Study Levels) *

* In addition to the current Bridge Level courses, OPIE anticipates offering a Pathway Program in the near future.

12-Hour Bridge Level

8-hour OPIE D970/D970 4-hour OPIE course UC 1900 course

5credit hours of academic classes

 

Students entering this level typically have the following language test scores:

  • TOEFL ITP: 500 to 512 (500 to 524 for undergraduates conditionally admitted to the College of Business)
  • OPIE Composition: 4.

Assuming normal progress in their language coursework, students can expect to study two semesters (28 weeks) of English before beginning full-time academic coursework. 

The 12-hour Bridge Level offers part-time support courses in English as a Second Language for students permitted to take five academic credit hours, in addition to UC 1900 Learning Community Seminar. The seminar is a university requirement for students in their first semester at a Bridge Level. It is designed to help international students transition into American university life and covers the topics of cross-cultural adjustment, choosing a major, campus, library and research resources, academic policies, and time management. In the OPIE courses, three hours of classroom instruction are provided four days per week (normally a single eight-hour course plus a single four-hour course in the student’s least developed skill area). Instruction is supplemented with self-access in reading, writing, pronunciation, and computer labs. Students improve language skills, as well as academic performance and study skills. Language focus is on reading and writing with additional work in listening and speaking courses related to academic themes.

8-Hour Bridge Level

OPIE D970/980

9 credit hours of academic classes

Students entering this level typically have the following language test scores:

  • TOEFL ITP: 513 to 524 (525 to 549 for undergraduates conditionally admitted to the College of Business)
  • OPIE Composition: 5. 

Assuming normal progress in their language coursework, students at this level can expect to study one semester (14 weeks) of English before beginning full-time academic coursework.

The 8-Hour Bridge Level offers part-time support courses in English as a Second Language for students permitted to take 9 academic credit hours. In the OPIE courses, two hours of classroom instruction are provided four days per week (normally a single eight-hour course). Instruction is supplemented with self-access in reading, writing, pronunciation, and computer labs. Students improve language skills as well as academic performance skills and study skills. 

The 8-Hour Level course is normally followed by full-time academic studies. Students may be required to take a single four-hour composition class if composition test scores fall below 5.

III. Chart of OPIE Levels and Length of Time for Studying English

The following chart summarizes the information above, including each level with the typical entry-level TOEFL ITP score and the minimum amount of time a student can expect to study English prior to beginning either part-time or full-time academic studies. Three semesters of study (42 weeks) is equal to one calendar year (i.e., Fall, Spring, Summer semesters). 

Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) Levels & Duration of English Study Guidelines 

 

OPIE Level

TOEFL ITP

Placement

Test

OPIE

Composition

If entering OPIE at this level expect to study ESL for:

Estimated Comparison

w/ Other Tests*

 

 

 

Full-Time Pre-Academic English Studies

Elementary Level

OPE D100/D200, D101/D201, D102/D202

 

350-399

 

50 and below

 

1A/1B

 3 semesters (42 weeks) until part-time academic studies

iBT: 20 – 31  


IELTS: 2-2.5

Intermediate Level

OPIE D300/D400, D301/D401, D302/D402

 

400-449

 

51-64

 

2A/2B

 2 semesters (28 weeks) until part-time academic studies

iBT: 32 - 45


IELTS: 3-3.5

Advanced Level

OPIE D500/D600, D701, D702

 

450-499

 

65 +

 

3A/3B

 1 semester(14 weeks) until part-time academic studies

iBT: 46 – 60

IELTS: 4.0-5.0

Bridge Levels

Includes English + Academic Studies

12 Hours of English

 

OPIE D960/D970

+ 4 hour OPIE class + 5 academic credit hours +

1-hour UC 1900

 500-512

Not Required

4

 2 semesters (28 weeks) until full-time academic studies

iBT: 61 - 64

IELTS: 5.0-5.5

8 Hours of English

OPIE D970/D980

+ 9 academic credit hours

 513-524

Not Required

5

1 semester (14  weeks) until full-time academic studies

iBT: 65 - 70

IELTS: 5.5 -6.0

Full-time Academic

 

Begin Academic Studies

525**

Not Required

6

 

 

Students with a composition score below 5 take four-hour OPIE composition class;

Students with a composition score 5 take English D160;

Students with a composition score of 6 take English 1610.

iBT: 71

(writing subscore of 17)


IELTS: 6.0 (no subscores below 6.0)

* While the TOEFL iBT and IELTS are accepted by Undergraduate Admissions for admission into full time academic study, they are not accepted for placement into OPIE. Students who have scores below the requirement for full time admission will be asked to take the TOEFL ITP upon arrival. The College of Business only accepts the TOEFL ITP from OPIE students.

** Business College requires higher scores: 550 TOEFL ITP for full entrance.
iBT = Internet Based TOEFL
IELTS = International English Language Testing Services

IV. Conditional and Provisional Admission to Ohio University

All international students (non-native speakers of English) who plan to obtain an undergraduate or graduate degree from Ohio University must demonstrate the required English proficiency, which varies based on the academic program and level of study (undergraduate or graduate). Students should submit an official record of English proficiency so that it is posted on their Ohio University Student Record prior to their enrollment. Please, see the following links for more details on each level of entry:

a) Undergraduate programs: http://www.ohio.edu/admissions/international/English.cfm

b) Graduate programs:https://www.ohio.edu/graduate/apply/index.cfm

Students who do not meet the admission requirements for English proficiency must take the TOEFL ITP upon arrival. Perspective undergraduate students who do not achieve a score of 525 (550 with sub scores of at least 52 for students who intend to study in the College of Business) must enroll in OPIE until they meet the enrollment criteria. Graduate students who do not meet the English proficiency requirements of their department must also enroll in OPIE. Ohio University offers conditional admission for English proficiency to undergraduate students, and provisional admission to graduate students.

Students whose test results make them eligible to enroll in academic classes part-time must also enroll in part-time English language coursework in OPIE. The language I-20 will not change unless a student fully matriculates into the intended academic degree program, i.e. meet the English proficiency requirement. Undergraduate students may receive full-time admission to Ohio University in two ways:

a) successful completion of required OPIE classes:

  • Initially complete OPIE’s 8-hour Bridge Level with a B- or higher (College of Business students must earn an A- or higher) or
  • Repeat OPIE’s 8-hour Bridge Level with a grade of C or higher (College of Business students must earn a n A- or higher)

b) Attainment of the required test scores as determined by the specific college/department/program.

Graduate students must achieve the standardized test scores required by their academic department.

V. Features of the OPIE

A. Program of Study

OPIE classes are small, and instructors pay special attention to student needs. Participation and the practical use of spoken and written English are emphasized.

B. Extracurricular OPIE Activities

OPIE offers the students numerous extracurricular activities that are designed to develop students’ language, multicultural, and social skills (see chart below).The programs and activities vary from year to year depending upon interest and availability.

Examples of Extracurricular Activities for OPIE Students

Global Conversation Partners

Non-OPIE students attending Ohio University are invited to become conversation partners for all full-time OPIE students. Students spend at least one hour each week speaking English with their conversation partners.

International  Conversation Hour

OPIE students practice their English skills in an informal fun atmosphere. The International Conversation Hour is open to all Ohio University students and Athens community members. It is an excellent opportunity to make friends from other countries and enjoy talking to people about different topics.

OPIE Lecture Series

OPIE students gain a valuable experience hearing academic lectures, practicing note-taking, and engaging in discussions through attending the Series. The lectures, given by university and community members, aim at helping the students adjust to university life, learn about activities and organizations at Ohio University and in Athens, and become aware of some important issues in the community.

OPIE Ambassadors

OPIE Ambassadors is an organization of students who represent OPIE for the purpose of improving their language learning experience and leadership skills. OPIE Ambassadors represent OPIE at other Ohio University events, plan activities and projects for OPIE students, and communicate with many kinds of people from all over campus, both inside and outside of OPIE.

OPIE Academic Workshop Series

These workshops are conducted by the OPIE/CAS advisor and aim to enhance students’ understanding of academic concepts, as well as make the transition from OPIE to full-time academic study more successful. The workshops cover the following topics:basics of the U.S. higher education system and its academic culture, vital academic resources on Ohio University campus, understanding DARS - Degree Audit Report System, meeting academic advisors, and the process of choosing and registering for academic classes.

International Cultural Understanding Certificate (ICUC)

The pursuit of this certificate broadens students’ cultural experiences and helps them gain other important professional skills for the future. By participating in the activities associated with the ICUC, students have the chance to build upon their cultural competency, learn about different ways of life, and improve their ability to communicate with a variety of people.

This certificate is open to all Ohio University students.

 

 


C. Self-Access Day

On Wednesdays, OPIE students attend a variety of activities listed in the chart above. There, they learn about the American culture and the expectations of studying at Ohio University. In addition, students can work individually in the Language Resource Center (LRC), access the reading and pronunciation laboratories, or meet with instructors to work on individual needs. 

D. Language Labs

Three types of language labs are used by OPIE students. These include:

• Reading Lab, in which students practice techniques to increase vocabulary, reading comprehension and reading speed.

• Pronunciation Lab, in which students work one-on-one with a tutor to improve pronunciation and listening comprehension.

• Writing Lab, in which students at the advanced level work one-on-one with a tutor to improve grammar and writing skills.

E. OPIE Faculty

All OPIE instructors are professionally qualified and experienced in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). All members of the faculty hold a Ph.D. or an M.A. degree in either in Applied Linguistics/TESL or Education. Teaching Associates (TAs) in the program are graduate students in the Department of Linguistics with prior experience teaching English to non-native speakers. These students are closely supervised by senior OPIE faculty.

F. OPIE Advising

OPIE offers advising services to its students. Advisors help students understand U.S. culture and the higher education system, prepare students for the academic registration process, and solve problems students might experience upon arrival to the U.S. OPIE also connects students with various on-campus resources and services, such as the International Student and Faculty Services, the Counseling Center, the Allen Student Advising Center, the Academic Advancement Center, etc. Additionally, OPIE runs a series of academic success workshops for students at the Advanced Level to prepare them for their first academic classes and a smooth navigation through Ohio University system.

VI. OPIE Policies

A. Credit/No Credit; Academic Probation 

OPIE expects all students to be active, prepared participants in classes. As it is important for non-native speakers of English to improve their English as quickly as possible in order to begin their academic studies, OPIE has the following regulations.

  1. Credit/No Credit Policy (Homework and Attendance Requirements): All OPIE students should complete 90% of homework assignments and attend 90% of all classes each semester. OPIE calculates the cumulative number of absences and homework assignments at the end of the semester for each student. 
  2. Any student failing to achieve 90% in one or both of these areas will receive a grade of No Credit (NC) and be placed on Academic Probation at the end of the semester. 
  3. Students who are on Academic Probation should not make travel plans to leave the United States at the end of each subsequent semester until they know that they will not be receiving No Credit for a second time. They are also required to meet with an OPIE advisor to discuss their Academic Probation.
  4. Any student who receives No Credit for any two semesters will be dismissed from OPIE and Ohio University. Students who receive notice that they will be dismissed according to this policy may appeal the decision by submitting a Dismissal Appeal Form for No Credit.This form has to be submitted to the OPIE office before 12:00 pm on Friday of the University final exam week. The appeal form is located on the OPIE website or can be requested through an OPIE advisor. The statement of appeal should describe any unusual circumstances that contributed to the student’s no credit. OPIE will review the appeal and render a decision by 5:00 pm on Friday of the University final exam week.
  5. International students who are dismissed or anticipate being dismissed should meet with an advisor at the Office of International Student and Faculty Services to discuss their immigration status.
  6. Dismissed students can either: a) transfer to another academic institution or b) return to their home country.
  7. Dismissed students who have transferred to another academic institution and desire to re-apply to Ohio University and OPIE should have completed at least 20 semester hours (30 quarter hours) of classes and achieved at least a 2.75 grade point average at the other academic institution to be eligible for re-admission. 

B. Academic Course Priority Registration for Advanced and Bridge Level Students

OPIE students at the Advanced and Bridge Levels who have been conditionally admitted to Ohio University undergraduate programs can pre-register for either part-time or full-time academic studies for the following semester. These students are given an academic course registration form during the fifth week of each semester to list their academic courses for the following semester. Students prioritize each academic course on this form according to a numerical ranking (1= most important class; 4= least important class). Students must submit the completed academic course form to OPIE by Friday of week 14 of the semester.

If, based on end-of-semester test scores and class performance, students must remain in full-time or part-time OPIE for further English study for the following semester, they may need to adjust their academic course registration so they will not be registered for too many academic credit hours. Guidelines are below:

  • 8-Hour Bridge Level students, who take 8 hours of OPIE classes per week, are permitted to have a maximum of 9 academic credit hours.
  • 12-Hour Bridge Level students, who take 12 hours of OPIE classes per week, are permitted to have a maximum of 5 academic credit hours in addition to UC 1900.
  • Advanced Level students, who take 20 hours of OPIE classes per week, are not permitted to take any academic classes without special permission.

Please note that OPIE will not register students for their academic courses. Students are responsible for registering for academic courses on their own with the assistance of their academic advisor.

Students are responsible for adjusting their academic course registration if they have registered for too many academic courses, and thereby preventing registration for necessary OPIE classes. This adjustment must be made by the day prior to the last day to add a class for the semester without instructor’s approval (Friday of the first week of the semester). In the event that a student does not adjust his or her registration appropriately by this deadline, OPIE will adjust the schedule as necessary, starting with dropping any classes that conflict with the time of required OPIE courses. After this adjustment, if a student is still enrolled in too many academic classes, OPIE will drop the class (or classes) the student has indicated as least important on the academic course registration form. Therefore, it is essential that students indicate the importance of each class so that OPIE knows which class or classes to drop when needed.

C. Bridge Level Students and Required University College (UC 1900) Class

All undergraduate OPIE students who are taking academic classes part-time are required to enroll in the University College course (UC 1900) during their first semester of academic coursework. If the first semester of academic study starts in the summer semester, then a student must register for UC 1900 in the following semester.

D. OPIE Summer Policy for Bridge Level Students

OPIE students can take a vacation during the summer semester, or they can take classes. Students in the OPIE Bridge Level must continue their studies in OPIE if they are on campus taking academic classes.

Students in the OPIE Bridge Level who are leaving the Athens area for a summer vacation may take online academic classes:

  • Students who have placed into 12 hours of OPIE may take a maximum of 6 credit hours of online academic classes during the summer.
  • Students who have placed into 8 hours of OPIE may take a maximum of 9 credit hours of academic classes during the summer.

Bridge Level students who take online academic classes during their summer vacation will still need to continue taking their assigned OPIE and UC 1900 (if required) classes when they return to Ohio University in the fall.

Students do not need to take classes full time in the summer if they are eligible to take summer as a vacation. However, in order to maintain their F-1 or J-1 visa status, students must enroll for full time study (be registered for at least 12 credit hours) in fall and spring semesters even if they take classes during their summer vacation.

Current students cannot take their annual vacation during fall or spring semester. If there is a need to do so, the students must discuss the appropriate procedures with an advisor in the International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS).

E. Academic Misconduct

OPIE follows Ohio University’s policies on academic misconduct. For more details see the OPIE Student Handbook.

F. Lack of Progress and Dismissal

Students in OPIE are expected to make satisfactory progress in the development of their language skills.  At the end of each semester, students are expected to advance to the next level in the program (e.g., Intermediate to Advanced) or at least progress to a higher component course in the same level (e.g., Intermediate to High-Intermediate).  In the event that a student fails to progress or advance and has to repeat the same course at the same level, he/she will be allowed to do so only one time.  If the student fails to progress within a level (e.g., Intermediate to High Intermediate) or to advance to a higher level (e.g., Intermediate to Advanced) after taking a course for the second time, he/she will be dismissed from OPIE and Ohio University.

For students in the Bridge Levels, passing any class counts as making progress for the semester, even if the student fails and must repeat other classes taken that semester. However, students will not be permitted to take any class more than three times.  A student who fails the same Bridge class three times will be dismissed from OPIE and Ohio University unless he/she has valid test scores that qualify him/her to advance.

Students who receive notice that they will be dismissed according to this policy may appeal the decision by submitting a Dismissal Appeal Form for Lack of Progress to the OPIE office before 12:00 pm on Friday of the University final exam week. The appeal form is available on the OPIE website or can be requested through an OPIE advisor.  The statement of appeal should describe any unusual circumstances that contributed to the student’s lack of progress. The OPIE will review the appeal and render a decision by 5:00 pm on Friday of the University final exam week. 

College of Business (COB) students should complete their OPIE English studies within six semesters of study, or they will need to change their major from the College of Business.

For additional information on the Ohio Program of Intensive English and its policies, visit the website www.ohio.edu/linguistics/opie, call 740.593.4575, or email opie@ohio.edu.

 

Return to Departments and Schools Return to: Departments and Schools