The McMaster English Language Development (MELD) Office offers two programs to graduate students whose first language is not English. These programs aim to help those students succeed in an English-language environment.
The McMaster Office for the Development of English Language Learners – MODEL – is a new student service designed to help current McMaster undergraduate and graduate students whose first language is not English.
MODEL offers English-language training, workshops, and support, developed by certified ESL and EAP experts, to meet the needs of McMaster students of all academic backgrounds and levels of English language proficiency. MODEL also has an on-site student advisor with experience in both ESL and counselling who is available to meet with students to discuss personal, social, and academic concerns.
For more information about MODAL, including how to book appointments, visit MODAL’s website.
The McMaster English Readiness for Graduate Excellence is an intensive certificate program for current or prospective graduate students from any institution who are looking to improve their English-language skills.
This comprehensive summer program is taught by the highest-qualified ESL/EAP instructors who have experience teaching in a university environment.
For more information about MERGE, including how to apply and tuition costs, visit the MERGE website.
Websites and phone apps for English learners
Online Lessons and Exercises is based out of the University of Victoria English Language Centre. The site allows students to choose their level of competency first. Then, they are linked to a series of grammar, reading, vocabulary or puzzle lessons. Each activity has a lesson, understanding check, and exercises corrected on the spot.
5-Minute English provides links to online grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, slang and idioms lessons and exercises. Explanation and teaching are provided, followed by exercises to test understanding. Not all components include testing.
Dave’s ESL Cafe is a general meeting place for ESL teachers and students from around the world. Forums, chat groups, a variety of grammar lessons and online quizzes (with instant feedback) are featured.
English Media Lab includes several quizzes and games that can be played online to practice grammar, vocabulary, and more. Useful
Activities for ESL Students includes links to grammar and vocabulary activities (online and worksheet) as well as a series of bilingual quizzes (e.g. Arabic-English).
Learn English, Feel Good features a series of printable worksheets and answer keys. No interactive or online work is available. Many grammar and writing skills are covered in the exercises, but no real teaching or explanation provided.
Merriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary – English
A dictionary that explains words in simple, easy-to-understand English with multiple examples. Students can voice-search for words (look up words without knowing the correct spelling) and save words they learn or wish to review again later as “Favourites.” This app must be purchased.
NAWL Builder Multilingual and AWL Builder Multilingual
Free apps that provide a system for learning academic words. Each app includes tools designed to help students learn lists of academic vocabulary (New Academic Word List (NAWL) and Academic Word List (AWL)) quickly and easily. Progress can be recorded and sent to others.
General writing resources for English learners
The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides a series of resources and tips for ESL students working in North America. Explore many areas of interest, including Tips for writing in North American Colleges, Plagiarism and ESL Writers, Writing for a North American Business Audience, and Key concepts for writing in North American Colleges.