Letter to the Editor


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DI article misleading

I would like to have the opportunity to provide some background that was missing from The Daily Iowan Jan. 26 article on English language standards. The article’s title itself, “UI’s English-language standard low in Big Ten,” is misleading. The required Test of English as a Foreign Language to enter the university is only part of the picture. All students who enter the UI with computer based TOEFL scores below 100 must take an on-campus English evaluation and are required to complete English as a Second Language coursework if the exam indicates areas of language that require development.

Because of these testing and course requirements, the UI in effect has higher proficiency requirements than many institutions that use a minimum TOEFL as an absolute determinant of English ability and do not offer on campus language support. The incomplete information in the article would incorrectly lead readers to conclude that the opposite is the case.

As the UI is seeking to increase international enrollments, we have maintained our high admission standards required of students from abroad. We offer international applicants with excellent academic backgrounds the opportunity to come to the UI and develop already-strong English skills to the advanced levels needed for classroom success. To imply that international students are inadequately evaluated or prepared in comparison with our peer institutions is incorrect.

Downing Thomas
dean of UI International Programs

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