Summer Academic Language Program



The Summer Academic Language Program at PSU is an intensive English language program designed to provide international students with the academic and social language skills needed to succeed at an American university. The program consists of 20 class hours per week with field trips on Saturdays.

Through this program, students will develop the academic reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills that will prepare them for the challenges of university life in the United States. In addition to coursework, field trips provide students with opportunities to experience the unique geography, history, and recreational activities of New Hampshire. Through the meaningful social interactions provided by these activities, students will further develop their language skills.

SALP Information Sheet

Apply to the Summer Academic Language Program


Program Highlights

  • Six weeks of intensive English classes;
  • Small classes that meet for 20 hours per week;
  • Elective courses;
  • Weekend excursions and field trips;
  • TOEFL preparation classes and administration of ITP tests;
  • A safe and beautiful campus;
  • Access to academic and recreational facilities at Plymouth State University;
  • Opportunity for full-time enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs at Plymouth State University.



Core Skills Courses

There are five core courses in the program:

Academic Reading

This course provides students with the academic reading skills needed for working with complex college-level texts. Topics include recognizing text types, identifying main ideas, making inferences, generating and forming questions, and summarizing and annotating text.

Academic Writing

This course is designed to provide students with the academic writing skills needed in university courses. Topics include the process of writing, formulating a thesis, developing paragraphs, supporting claims with evidence, citing and documenting sources, and avoiding plagiarism. Attention will be given to specific problems faced by second-language learners.

Academic Listening and Speaking

This course provides students with the academic listening and speaking skills needed for the university classroom. Students will focus on developing listening and note-taking strategies, as well as preparing and presenting short talks. Students will also have the opportunity to listen to professors lecturing on various topics.

Communicative Strategies

This course is designed to help non-native speakers adapt to American social situations where a certain amount of cultural knowledge and polite phrasing is expected. Within this context, attention is given to appropriate grammar usage. The importance between grammatical forms and their communicative meaning is explored.

TOEFL Preparation

This course provides students with specific training on taking the TOEFL. Using TOEFL practice materials, students will develop their test-taking skills on the Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking modules. Students will complete a pre- and post-institutional TOEFL test during the program.

Elective Courses

Students can take up to one elective course in their program. Elective options will vary from year to year.

Travel USA

Explore the sights and attractions of the United States. In this course, students will plan a trip across the United States: collecting information, reading roadmaps and schedules, developing itineraries, and making reservations.

Current Events

Explore current topics in the news. This course uses multiple media sources (e.g., print, audio, video) to examine issues that affect the world around us. Students keep journals, present topics, and debate issues.

American Culture through Literature

Discuss American culture, develop comprehension skills, and expand your vocabulary through reading the classics. Several short novels will be covered over the course of the program.

Sample Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Academic Reading Academic Listening and Speaking Academic Reading Academic Listening and Speaking Academic Reading Field Trip
Academic Writing Communicative Strategies Academic Writing Communicative Strategies Academic Writing
Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
TOEFL Preparation Elective TOEFL Preparation Elective TOEFL Preparation

Field Trips

Five exciting field trips will be offered over the six-week program. Field trips will vary from year to year.

Historic Boston and the American Revolution

A tour of Boston’s historic sites and its role in America’s quest for independence.

Exploring the White Mountains

Explore the scenery, plants, and animals of New Hampshire.


Canoeing/Kayaking in the Lakes Region

Experience the lakes, rivers, and aquatic life of New Hampshire.

Hiking in Franconia Notch State Park

Visit Flume Gorge, Mount Lafayette, and the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway.

Portsmouth Boat Tour

Learn about the history of New Hampshire by discovering Portsmouth’s coast and local museums (e.g., Strawbery Banke Museum, USS Albacore Museum).

Museums of New Hampshire

Discover the museums of New Hampshire: NH Farm Museum, Museum of the White Mountains, Currier Museum of Art, American Independence Museum, etc.

Whitewater Rafting

Raft down New Hampshire’s Androscoggin River and experience Class II & III whitewater.

Program Overview

Summer Academic Language Program at PSU

Dates July 9 to August 17, 2017 (Orientation: July 7 & 8)
Deadlines Application: May 15; Payment in full: June 15
Schedule Classes Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.; Saturday field trips
Minimum Age 17
Campus Housing Yes
Meals Yes
Recreation Pass Yes
Outdoor Excursions Yes
Grading Pass/No Pass
Certificate of Completion Yes
Cost $5,950


International applicants whose native language is not English must obtain a minimum IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE score (see table below) to be considered for the Summer Academic Language Program.

English Proficiency Test Minimum Score Required
IELTS 5.0 or greater (with no band less than 4.5)
TOEFL iBT 51 or greater
TOEFL PBT 450 or greater
PTE-A 40 or greater

For applicants who plan to enter PSU in the fall, two conditions must be met:

  1. Receive a passing grade in Summer Academic Language Program courses (i.e., receive a completion certificate); and
  1. Attain a minimum score of 500 on the TOEFL ITP (administered at PSU during week 5 of the program).

Students who complete this program with a TOEFL score under 530 enter Semester for Academic Language Success at PSU.


Apply to the Summer Academic Language Program (SALP)