Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence at Temple’s IELP

On August 6, 2015, Temple’s Intensive English Language Program held a party to celebrate 40 years of excellence.

“Since 1974, Temple’s IELP has a reputation as a strong program for non-native speakers who want to learn how to speak English,” said the Director of the Intensive English Language Program, Stephanie Laggini Fiore, Ph.D.

Over the past 40 years the IELP has seen continuing growth, particularly over the past five years in which the IELP has seen a 135% increase from Academic Year 2010-11 to Academic Year 2014-15.

In the same time period, along with increased enrollment, the diversity of students from around the globe has risen significantly and continues to develop, now including many countries that are new or less familiar to the early years of  the IELP—Vietnam, Brazil, Spain, Russia, and Turkey.

According to Brooke Walker, assistant vice president for Global Partnerships and Programs, and International Student and Scholar Services the IELP’s emphasis on student services has also helped to make it so well attended.

“So that IELP students get the most out of their experience here, student services—access to health and wellness services--cultural excursions, student engagement activities and an immersive orientation, are all intrinsic to the program,” said Walker.              

Over the years increased options for students studying at the IELP are another point of pride.  “Students can choose from many different programs to meet their needs—provisional or conditional admission that lead to matriculation in the university, and special programs that target specific language needs or cultural learning,” said Fiore.

 “Also, our instructors come from the best preparation possible in the English as a Second Language field.  They are credentialed with master’s degrees in Teaching English as a Second Language or a related discipline,” she added.

IELP Academic Advisor Dennis Serge, who began his career as an IELP teacher 20 year ago, highlights one essential about the IELP that has not changed—the rich interchange of cultures. 

Speaking about the way the potluck Thanksgiving lunches that staff shared with students, Serge said, “I remember the South Korean students introduced all of us to kimchi, bulgogi and bimbimbap.  The Turks brought kebab, stuffed grape leaves, and hazelnut baklava.  The South Americans introduced us to flan and fried plantains… And the teachers prepared the traditional foods—cranberry and sweet potato dishes, pumpkin pies and turkey with stuffing.”

The anniversary party was held in the new IELP office, designed to maximize student interaction.

As to the future, Fiore gave some highlights. “For the first time in the winter of the upcoming year we’re offering Advanced Academic English and American Culture; we’re working with partner universities to bring programming abroad and bring more students here; and we’re currently hosting our first pre-college program, something we hope to expand.”