policies

Placement information

Overview

Students in the four required CELESE courses—Academic Lecture Comprehension, Communication Strategies, Academic Reading, and Concept Building and Discussion—are placed into appropriate groups within their respective time slots. This page explains the basic placement procedure and some relevant facts and policies.

The purpose of placement is to sort students into groups of similar English communicative proficiency. This is advantageous to both students and teachers for several reasons, as follows.

As a result, “high” classes may be quite different from “low” classes in terms of how each lesson, and the course as whole, progresses. Nevertheless, the grading system remains constant across all the levels. Grading in CELESE courses is based on a criterion-referenced grading system. That is, all students—regardless of whether they are in a high or a low group—are graded based on the same criteria. It is entirely possible, therefore, that in one class, nearly all the students get A+, while in another class, nearly all the students get C or even F.

Policies

It is important that students are placed into a group that is appropriate to their English proficiency level. CELESE uses the results of the TOEIC IP test for this purpose (see the TOEIC policy page for information about the test). Each students’ placement scores are calculated as the average of their own TOEIC IP scores. Those students who have no TOEIC IP score history are placed using the average TOEIC IP score of all the students enrolled in the course.

If a student misses a test without a valid reason (see the test absence policy page for information about this), their absence will be reported back to their respective departments.

Advanced Classes

Students who achieve a very high score (e.g., 900+) on the TOEIC-IP test will be given the opportunity to switch from their normally assigned section of Communication Strategies (1st year) or Concept Building and Discussion (2nd year) to an advanced section of these courses. The advanced section will be tailored to meet the different English learning needs of these high-proficiency English learners. The classes will move at a faster pace and will likely focus on communication skills and topics not covered in the normal sections. However, students will be graded against the same criterion-referenced testing system used in all sections.

In order to control the class size, the cut-off score may vary slightly from year to year. Eligible students will be contacted via e-mail at the beginning of the academic year with details about how they may switch to the advanced section. If they choose to switch, their registration will be changed for both spring and fall semesters, and they will be unable to switch back to their original sections.

Frequently asked questions

Will I be placed into a different class in the second semester?

No. Placement will remain the same for the entire academic year.

If I get placed in a low level section, does that mean it will be easier to get a high grade?

No, it doesn’t. In fact, because the teacher of the low level class may concentrate much more class time on accomplishing some very basic and minimal things with the students, it may actually be more difficult to get a high grade.

I got placed in a low level section. Does this mean that I will get a low final grade?

Not necessarily. Final grades are determined according to specific course criteria. Students should look at the criteria carefully and make an effort to meet the criteria in order to get the highest grade they can achieve.

I got placed in a high level section: All the students can speak English much better than I can. Does this mean that I will get a low final grade?

Same answer as for the preceding question: Not necessarily. Final grades are determined according to specific assessment criteria. Students should look at the criteria carefully and make an effort to meet the criteria in order to get the highest grade they can achieve.

Why do you use the TOEIC test instead of another test (e.g., TOEFL, CASEC, STEP)?

TOEIC is widely used in academic institutions as well as by employers throughout Japan for evaluative purposes. Therefore, CELESE uses the results of the TOEIC test as an expedient measure for placement.

Why do you use the course average to place students with no TOEIC scores?

Without any other information about these students, we cannot estimate their English communication ability. This procedure, while not ideal, minimizes placement discrepancies, and is therefore used in such cases.