The Maryville College ESL program is an Intensive English Program designed for students who want to improve their overall English quickly. All of the classes work towards students becoming more fluent, both orally and in written communication.
Our graduates are well prepared to use English in any setting, including the TOEFL exam or other standard English exams such as the TOEIC, IELTS, iTEP Academic etc. We offer small class sizes (average 6-8 students per class) and opportunities to audit college classes or take college classes for credit.

We offer 5-week sessions during the academic year (September - May), 6-week sessions in the summer (June - August) and a 3-week travel & study session during January.

Click the links to jump to a section below:


Class hours (5 week sessions):

  • 25 hours of classroom instruction per week  (week 1: 15 hours + orientation)
  • Monday through Friday, 9 am – 3 pm (with one-hour lunch break)
  • Core curriculum and Choice class in the morning.
  • Focus on listening & speaking and reading & writing in the afternoon hours

Sample Schedule:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 - 10:00 Grammar Grammar Grammar Grammar Grammar
10:00 - 11:00 Grammar Grammar Grammar Grammar Grammar
11:00 - 12:00 Choice: Pronunciation Choice: TOEFL Choice: Pronunciation Choice: TOEFL Choice: Pronunciation
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Listening & Speaking Listening & Speaking Listening & Speaking Listening & Speaking Listening & Speaking
2:00 - 3:00 Reading & Writing Reading & Writing Reading & Writing Reading & Writing Reading & Writing


Grammar Class (9 am – 11 am):

  • Grammar class includes: Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills, Listening Skills, Speaking Skills

Choice classes (11 am – 12 noon):

Different choice classes are offered every 5 weeks and are different at lower and upper levels.  Sample classes include:

  • Survival Skills
  • TOEFL preparation
  • Pronunciation
  • English idioms
  • American culture
  • Business English
  • American cinema
  • Other choices depending on students’ interest and needs.  Not all classes are offered every session.

Listening, Speaking and Reading Comprehension and Writing  

(1 pm - 3 pm)

 Students get an intensive hour/day of instruction on Listening & Speaking and also one hour/day of reading/writing.


Generally, students will have homework every day. Expect a minimum of two hours per night to be successful in this program.


All of our instructors are native English speakers who have at least master’s degrees in a relevant field or equivalent experience.

Levels of instruction - All Ability Levels from Introductory to Advanced

New students are tested on the first day here and placed into the most appropriate level based on their test scores, ranging from introductory to advanced.  Each level normally takes one five-week session to complete.

Our program places students into a group with others close to their own language ability, to help them learn faster and more easily! 

Course Descriptions

Click on the heading to see descriptions of each level.


Students who enroll as degree-seeking students at Maryville College will receive three Maryville College elective credits towards their Bachelor's degree for each five-week session he/she completes successfully in our ESL program.

Program length:

You can join our program for just one of our sessions, or for any number of sessions. The three-week January term and summer sessions offer three hours of classroom instruction in the morning and trips and activities in the afternoon.

Minimum Age Requirement

Our program is generally designed for students aged 16 and over.  We will admit students under 16 on a case-by-case basis.  Students under the age of 18 need special permission to live on campus.

Information in Other Languages:

You can find information and an application form in other languages here.