Prepare for university success

University Success is for English language learners preparing for academic environments. Through five levels, from Beginning to Transition, the course carefully scaffolds skill development to help students become autonomous learners. Students master essential skills and gain confidence in studying academic degree courses taught in English. 

Authentic lectures, readings, and writing strategies created and delivered by professors from Stanford University provide real-life learning experiences. 

  • American English, Academic Academic
  • Five levels:
    • Beginning: GSE 22 - 32 (A1)
    • High-Beginning: GSE 33 - 42 (A2 to A2+)
    • Intermediate to High Intermediate: GSE 43 - 58 (B1 to B1+)
    • Advanced: GSE 59 - 75 (B2 to B2+)
    • Transition: GSE 68 - 80 (B2+ to C1)

Building the foundation for academic success

  • Two new levels, Beginning and High-Beginning, support lower level students with scaffolding to build their linguistic foundation. 
  • Two integrated skills strands, Reading & Writing and Listening & Speaking, establish the foundation for studying at higher levels. 

These two levels fuse high-interest topics with tasks to develop the language skills needed for managing complex and conceptually challenging content.


The Beginning level gives students the fundamental building blocks and confidence to take on academic challenges.


The High-Beginning level builds the support that prepares students for the rigor and challenges of the upper levels and beyond.

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Putting students on the path to academic success

  • At the upper levels, the three strands, Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication, continue the intensive skill development with a collection of extensive authentic content, expertly developed in cooperation with professors from Stanford University.
  • The content models the type of real-life learning expected of students studying for a degree.

Intermediate to High-Intermediate Level

Authentic content with careful integration of essential skills, the Intermediate to High-Intermediate level familiarizes students with real-world academic contexts.

Advanced Level

Challenging, authentic content with level-appropriate skills, the Advanced level prepares students to exit the ESL/EFL safety net.

Transition Level

A deep dive for transition-level students, the Transition level mirrors the academic rigor of college courses.

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university success cover writing
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University success
University success
University success

Larry Zwier, author of University Success, discusses different aspects of the course

How did research inform the development of University Success?

What challenges does using lectures from real professors pose?

How do the lectures in University Success work for lower level learners?

Academic rigor and accelerated learning

  • University Success is the first-ever English language course that fuses intensive and rigorous skill development and expanded application, at the same time as meeting the unique academic, social, and linguistic needs of English language learners.
  • Rigorous academic preparation is carefully scaffolded with the systematic skill development that English language learners require to close their skills gap and become autonomous learners.
  • Challenging academic content ensures students are prepared quickly and appropriately to handle the challenges of academic work.
  • University Success supports programs that adopt the accelerated instruction model by allowing them to take advantage of authentic texts and exercises that enable students to develop vocabulary, reading, and listening strategies.

An authentic experience

  • Authentic essays and lectures expertly created by top professors from Stanford University, provide real-life learning experiences.
  • Real academic content provides students with the same challenges native speakers face in a university setting, preparing them to handle the quantity of reading and writing required in college-level courses as well as full-length lectures that have not been scaffolded for them.

Flexibility: three strands – three parts

The different strands are fully aligned across content areas allowing teachers to utilize material from different strands to support learning.

Five distinct STEAM content areas are included: The Human Experience, Money and Commerce, The Science of Nature, Arts and Letters, and Structural Science, all popular majors among English language learners.

The skills, like the content areas, are aligned. Teachers can delve deeply into a single skill area, or provide additional support from other skill areas for richer development across the four language skills.

university success assessment


University Success provides a package of assessments that can be used as precourse diagnostics, midcourse assessments, and final summative assessments. The flexible nature of these assessments allows teachers to choose which assessments will be most appropriate at various stages of the program. These assessments are embedded in the student book and are available online in MyEnglishLab.

Strategies for academic success and soft skills

  • Strategies for academic success and soft skills, delivered via online videos, help increase students’ confidence and ability to cope with the challenges of academic study and college culture. 
  • Study skills include how to talk to professors during office hours, time management techniques, understanding a syllabus, and many more.
  • Videos also include life skills topics such as living in an English-speaking setting, surviving in a culture different than one’s own, balancing studying and personal life, and many more.

Blended approach

  • University Success combines the utility of an interactive student book, online learner lab, and print course to create a flexible approach that adjusts to the needs of teachers and learners.
  • Each skill presented in the Student Book is followed by connected activities on MyEnglishLab for well-rounded and comprehensive practice in and out of the classroom. 
  • MyEnglishLab includes comprehensive teacher support and an easy-to-use online learning management system offering tools to monitor student progress.

Interested in ordering University Success?

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