For DGSs and Administrators

ELSP Mission and Handbook

I had never learned before how to professionally write an essay or research paper. This course helped me to develop those writing skills.


ELSP strives to provide high quality language instruction to students whose first language is other than English and to encourage on-going and long term improvement of speaking and writing skills. The curriculum focuses on the development of accurate advanced language skills for graduate level study, Emory teaching roles and the speaking demands of the professional world inside and outside the university community. We believe that language instruction early in the first year and a half of a student’s studies ensures reliable second language acquisition, which inevitably translates into stronger graduate performance.

Students are required to take the English Language Placement tests (speaking and writing) before they register for classes. In some cases, students can be screened by the Testing Director. Based on the initial speaking and writing scores, classes will be required or recommended.

Assessment and support courses are offered to degree-seeking students and to Emory research employees who qualify for the courtesy scholarship award.
For more information, please review the ELSP Handbook.

Assessment Requirements for LGS Students

All degree-seeking students, regardless of citizenship status or educational background, whose first language is other than English must take the Laney Graduate School English Language Proficiency Test or receive an exemption from the ELSP testing director before registering for degree classes or participating in TATTO. This assessment is not used in the admissions process, but for teaching recommendations and placement of students who need English language support.

ELSP Curriculum and Class Overview

Academic Policies

Students who need two ELSP courses in one term will be expected to reduce their discipline-specific loads to accommodate the academic requirements of English support classes. Experience indicates that students who take the time to improve their English skills early in their graduate studies are better able to keep up with their program requirements in later years.

Grading System

ELSP courses are credit courses entered on a student's transcript; however, the credits do not count toward degree requirements. Students are expected to complete each course satisfactorily in order to fulfill all ELSP course requirements during their first year at Emory.

Graduate courses are graded as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Upon completion of ELSP 516: Communication Skills for Intermediate Speakers III, students will take the Emory Post Oral Assessment. Scores and recommendations for teaching will be mailed to students and to the Director of Graduate Studies in their programs.

Students are encouraged to perform well in each ELSP course in order to meet the language proficiency requirements for participating successfully in an academic program.


ELSP courses are developed around a very tight schedule making attendance in each class important for the student's full language development. In order to meet the English language requirements of the ELSP in the Laney Graduate School, students are expected to participate actively in all ELSP classes.

If a student misses three classes in a 3-credit course or two classes in a 2-credit course, the Instructor will notify the Director of the ELSP in writing. The ELSP Instructor, in consultation with the student, and the ELSP Director will determine if s/he will be able to complete the class satisfactorily.