2018-19 Catalog

English as a Second Language

Mark Ouellette, Ph.D. - Director
246 Maginnes Hall
9 W. Packer Ave
Bethlehem PA 18015

The International Center for Academic and Professional English (ICAPE), formerly English as a Second Language (ESL) offers academic semester and summer courses for undergraduate and graduate students and their families. Additional academic and cultural instruction is provided to international students through ICAPE'S English Language Learning and Assessment lab, conversation groups, and other language enrichment courses.

Credit Instruction

The International Center for Academic and Professional English (ICAPE) offers credit courses to both undergraduates and graduates who wish to increase their English proficiency in the areas of writing, reading, speaking, and presentation skills. All credit courses are at an advanced level of English study. Graduate students should contact their departments regarding acceptance of credit towards residency requirements. English for Specific Language Purposes (ESLP) credit courses are open to regularly enrolled students or General College Division students with placement or permission by the ICAPE Program Director.

StepUp Programming portfolio

The StepUp program is a portfolio of different programs open to graduate and undergraduate international students. The StepUp Intensive English Program, for example, is tailored to students who have been accepted to Lehigh but whose English fluency skills as measured by the TOEFL iBT exam do not meet the minimum requirement of an applicant's intended program of study. StepUp UniPrep combines both credit and non-credit courses for rising High School seniors preparing for the academic application cycle. StepUp Bootcamp is a rigorous two-week program designed for incoming Lehigh University freshman looking to get a head start on their academic English proficiency.  


ICAPE's English Language Learning and Assessment (ELLA) Lab, located at 242 Maginnes hall, provides private English language tutoring for international students and their spouses wanting to improve their speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar, and preparation for the Lehigh University TOPSS exam (required for teaching and graduate assistants).

English Testing for Teaching & Graduate Assistants

International graduate students whose first language is a language other than English who apply to become Teaching Assistants or Graduate Assistants must take and pass Lehigh University's Test of Presentation and Speaking Skills (TOPSS) prior to beginning their instructional responsibilities. Students should contact their academic department directly for more specifics regarding the format and timing of the exam.

The Freshman Composition Requirement

English 003 and 005 are the approved first-year English composition courses for international writers whose first language is a language other than English and for those international students who have not previously lived and studied in the US for four years or more. International undergraduates who wish to improve their advanced spoken English skills may also register for English 15, Speech Communication for International Speakers.