This is PALS' core program—immersion English language study designed to expose students to all the skills necessary to develop and improve their ability and confidence in speaking, reading, and writing English. Students take these courses with a variety of intentions: to enter an American university, to improve their job opportunities, to study toward or work in an international career, and more.
The Intensive ESL Program has six levels:
- Low Intermediate
- High Intermediate
- Low Advanced
- High Advanced
New students are placed according to their ability, which is determined by a placement exam given before each session begins.
The Intensive ESL Program is offered over six sessions per academic year (September–August), with each session lasting seven weeks. If a student starts at the Beginner level and passes all their classes each session, they can expect to finish the entire Intensive ESL Program in one year. Students who start at higher levels (as determined by the required placement exam) can expect to complete the program more quickly as long as they are successful in each class/level per session.
Classes are run like American university courses and include lectures, homework, in-class presentations, computer lab study, tests and quizzes, etc. Students are graded on all their work and exams, and the final grade of a class determines whether they will move up in level or repeat a course until they are successful in passing it.