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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

English for Multilingual Students

Department of Linguistics Division of Humanities and Fine Arts
South Hall 3431A
Telephone:  (805)893-7258
Director:   Karyn Kessler


Housed in the Department of Linguistics, the English for Multilingual Students (EMS) Program offers a wide range of academic English courses for undergraduate and graduate international and multilingual students for whom English is not the first language. These courses support students in their development of the English proficiency and communication skills necessary to achieve diverse academic and professional goals.

Undergraduate Courses

Undergraduate courses in the EMS Program provide instruction and practice in reading and writing for various purposes and audiences in the U.S. academic community. Instruction also focuses on strategies for developing academic vocabulary and grammatical accuracy in writing. A sequence of four core undergraduate writing courses (Linguistics 3A, 3B, 3C and 12) focus on helping students develop proficiency in academic literacy and provide a path for students to satisfy the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR) at UCSB.

In addition to these core undergraduate offerings, the EMS program offers elective courses designed to meet specific needs that are common to undergraduate international and multilingual student populations. Linguistics 8, Oral Communication for Multilingual Undergraduate Students, strengthens students’ presentation, pronunciation, and classroom engagement skills necessary for academic success throughout undergraduate studies. Linguistics 10, Reading Across the Curriculum, focuses on the development of students’ academic reading strategies and skills so that they can more effectively engage with complex texts, genres, vocabulary and language within their field of study. Linguistics 14, Vocabulary and Grammar in Academic Writing for Multilingual Students, is designed to improve students’ ability to work with source texts through paraphrase and summary writing as well as overall use of academic vocabulary and grammatical structures.

All EMS undergraduate courses confer credit toward degree. The required English Language Placement Exam (ELPE) determines admission into the four core undergraduate writing courses (Linguistics 3A, 3B, 3C and 12). Linguistics 12 must be successfully completed prior to student eligibility for taking courses in the Writing Program.

Graduate Courses

The EMS Program also provides writing and oral skills courses to support the academic achievements of international graduate students in all disciplines. Courses include two levels of writing (Linguistics 2G and 3G) and multiple levels of oral skills (Linguistics 4) for academic purposes. Placement into these courses is determined through the written and oral English Language Placement Exam (ELPE).

Additional graduate courses offered by the EMS Program are designed specifically to meet the linguistic needs of international TAs (Linguistics 4). Placement into these courses is determined by the student’s TA English Language Evaluation required of all prospective international Teaching Assistants whose home language is other than English. Please see Graduate Division’s Admission of International Students and Permanent Residents for more information about the Graduate ELPE and/or the TA English Language Evaluation.

Please visit the program website at for up to date information about the EMS Program.

EMS Faculty Listing
Ingrid Bowman, MA, School for International Training; MA, Free University of Berlin; Continuing Lecturer, (EMS Program; English for Multilingual Students, teacher development)
Jeffrey Hanson, MA, UC Santa Barbara, Continuing Lecturer (Professional writing: business, global careers; English for multilingual students; TA and ITA training and supervision)
Karyn E. Kessler, Ph.D., Purdue University, Associate Teaching Professor, (EMS Program; English language policy in U.S. Higher Education, ESL graduate student writing, Internationalization and Diversity)
Randall Rightmire, MA, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Continuing Lecturer (EMS Program; English prosody and phonetics; composition, discourse, and grammar)
John Robertson, MA, Biola University, Continuing Lecturer (EMS Program)
Briana Westmacott, MA, University of California, Los Angeles, Continuing Lecturer (EMS Program)

Emeriti Faculty Listing
Jan Frodesen, PhD, UC Los Angeles