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Navigating life at an American boarding school? We speak your language.

Our comprehensive ESL program offers a variety of courses to nurture the further development of English reading, listening, and writing and to help students develop academic and conversational English. There are no charges for our ESL classes. Our internet-based Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Center is private and open to only Shattuck-St. Mary’s students. Our on-campus Center provides a comfortable travel-free setting to help students do their best.  

Our range of English, Introduction to Historical Studies, and Conversation classes meet the varied needs of all our students in small, personable classes. Our students also receive support from a team of student tutors in writing and speaking at the SSM Writing Center. Our teachers stay in close touch with students’ advisors, parents, and, if applicable, their COE directors. The SSM ESL Program is a cohesive experience for international students, bridging cultural differences within the school community.  

The ESL Program is integral in International Student Orientation, the International Club, and the all-school International Day. 

We ask our new international students to arrive on campus early each fall to participate in International Student Orientation. This extra time gives students and families the opportunity to overcome jet lag while becoming more familiar with our school, the Faribault community, and our residential and academic teams. For most international students, this is their first time on campus, and for many, it is their first time in a USA community. During orientation, they are welcomed, helped in coordinating banking options, shown mobile phone contacts, and learn about school rules and policies. Preplacement in our ESL Program is tentatively accomplished prior to their campus arrival, but our academic intake session includes an on-campus assessment after full orientation to assure the pre-placement are appropriate. These assessments include on-campus administration of the Duolingo, the TOEFL, or program-based assessments. 

ESL course catalog and descriptions

ESL Department Faculty

Katie Buckle

Titles: ESL Teacher

Jan Gould-Martin

Class of '75
Titles: English Instructor, English & ESL Department Chair

Joe Shannon

Titles: ESL Instructor