International Student Program ESL Offerings

Improving Social and Academic English Skills

As we welcome students from around the world, St. John’s Northwestern recognizes the importance of providing support in speaking, reading, and writing English. We believe that language should not be a barrier to any international student who is seeking academic excellence and the skills to compete with other students for places at highly competitive universities. With this goal in mind, our English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction and academic support program follows your child’s growth through the Academies. Our holistic approach to improving a student’s appreciation and understanding of the English language begins the minute your child steps onto our campus. Since its inception, our highly successful ESL program has produced high-performing scholars.

Start With an Assessment When You Arrive

We utilize a state-wide assessment tool to screen and evaluate your child’s listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English to help establish their appropriate academic level. From this assessment, we determine if your child requires ESL or standard English courses, and if English language support is needed throughout their regular academics. But our assessments don’t end there; we continually monitor each student’s progress and offer follow-up assessments in January and April, and base informed instruction for their continuing education based on these results.

Take ESL Classes During the Academic Year

Many skills are required to become successful in English academically. Skills such as reading textbook content with understanding, writing in a clear, grammatically correct, well-organized manner, and applying high-level critical thinking skills during class discussions. These skills are taught in various ESL classes that are offered throughout each semester. We carefully tailor our ESL classes to fit the unique English proficiency level of your child. Our ESL course offerings include:

Middle School:

  • ESL Beginning Literacy
  • ESL Intermediate Literacy

High School:

  • ESL Beginning Literacy
  • ESL Intermediate Literacy
  • American Literature for ESL
  • European Literature for ESL
  • ESL Lab (Supported Study Hall)

Our Approach

International students with advanced English proficiency have the potential to be placed in traditional English classes. Students with beginning and intermediate English skills are placed in ESL classes led by certified ESL teachers. Our small class sizes allow individual attention, resulting in better academic outcomes. Students who progress in language acquisition may transfer to traditional English classes. Our ESL students are immersed with their non-ESL peers in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Fine and Performing Arts, Athletics, and JROTC/Leadership Classes. By studying and living with our domestic non-ESL students on a full-time basis, our students’ proficiency in the language is greatly accelerated.

Our ESL teachers work closely together to ensure students understand the content they are being taught in all of their classes regardless of their language proficiency. Extra remedial tutorials are available daily for students looking to improve their learning.

Homestay Program

From the moment your child is enrolled at St. John’s Northwestern Academies, your family becomes a part of our devoted community. The SJNA community is close-knit, warm, and inviting.

Our Homestay Program is a product of our caring community. Over holiday and vacation times, some of our international students and cadets are unable to return to their home countries. Instead, for a small stipend, they are welcomed with open arms into the homes of SJNA parents, teachers, and alumni who affectionately care for them during these times. During their homestay visits, students and cadets are a part of family activities and traditions, making this an invaluable part of their immersion, not only culturally, but especially in their mastery of the English language.

ESL Summer Enrichment Camp

We believe that total language immersion is the first step to excelling in another language. Our one-week ESL Summer Enrichment Camp is the start of that immersion process. New international students get to know each other and the campus while engaging in ESL activities during the day. In the afternoon, they join in sports and enjoy local excursions and field trips to popular Milwaukee-area destinations where they are further exposed to the language within a social setting.

Click HERE for more information on our ESL Enrichment Camp.

Price = $3,000

Contact our Admissions Team with any questions:

Call us at 262-646-7199 or 1-800-752-2338

Email us at