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About ESL at Ouachita

Ouachita’s English as a Second Language program enables students with limited English skills to attend Ouachita and ultimately transition into a traditional degree program.


Each semester, friendly, professionally trained instructors teach classes such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Conversation
  • Grammar
  • Language Laboratory
  • American History & Culture

ESL classes are typically small, offering students personal attention throughout the semester. The program offers students an excellent place to make friends while gaining confidence in using English. The American History & Culture class is offered each fall and includes a trip to another city or location of interest. Other international students and American friends are welcomed on the trip.

Students with TOEFL scores below 78-80 iBT (Internet Based Test), (or an IELTS score between 4.0 - 6.0, or a TOEIC score between 405 - 605) are required to take 1-3 semesters of ESL classes in order to improve their English language skills before entering undergraduate classes.

Students passing ESL classes with a "B" average or higher will earn up to 12 hours of academic credit toward their traditional degree requirements. Most students who complete ESL within one semester are able to graduate with a full bachelor's degree within four years by taking summer school classes (offered online and on campus).

For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email

Check out a short video about Ouachita in Chinese, Spanish, or Portuguese.

What Our Students Are Saying:


"The teachers and students were all so friendly, and it made my study abroad experience very meaningful."

"ESL helped me learn how to write academic essays in English."

"The American Culture classes were fun; we got to see Arkansas outside of the classroom."

"The friendly, non-threatening classes gave me confidence to learn English without fear."

"I couldn’t have graduated without the help of ESL at the beginning of my college studies."

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