Extensive English Development

Nationally recognized as one of the top schools in the United States, Mercersburg Academy is a private, college preparatory boarding school with a reputation for excellence that attracts young men and women in grades 9-12 from 30 states and 40 nations during the regular school year. During the summer, extensive English development and rewarding cultural immersion experiences draw students who are committed to rigorous academic effort.

This intensive and creative program is open to international students who possess a working knowledge of the English language and are able to communicate on at least basic verbal and written levels. It features a comprehensive and stimulating curriculum designed to improve communication skills in English speaking, listening, writing, and reading.

2021 Dates Coming Soon!

Open To:
Grades 6-12, coed


Application Fee:


In the classroom, ESL+ students are divided by skill level, regardless of age. All students are evaluated when they arrive and placed into classes based on core English competencies. This proven method for learning places students in environments where they are properly challenged, paced, and supported.

While courses are taught according to ability to digest information and to apply acquired knowledge, the use of progressive teaching principles allows students who qualify to move easily up levels of study as they master essential skills.

Program Features

  • Competitive admission and limited enrollment in each grade level and nationality
  • Diagnostic testing and placement in appropriate skill level
  • Student-to-faculty ratio of 5 to 1
  • Multiple levels of study in English speaking, listening, writing, and reading
  • Test preparation courses for all students
  • Daily help sessions and supervised evening study hall
  • Structured activities beyond the classroom
  • Visits to campuses of prestigious American colleges
  • More than 70 percent of participants attend (or plan to attend) American boarding schools

Curriculum and Primary Program Areas 

The ESL+ program concentrates on improving English skills in speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Each course is specifically designed to allow students to learn these skills through different techniques, subjects, and interactive environments. Among many other things, all students will be asked to attend Vocabulary and Listening Labs, create culminating class projects or presentations, and prepare for the TOEFL test. Courses change from year to year for a number of reasons, including keeping the subject matter fresh for teachers and to the benefit of the students. 

The following are samples of courses that have been offered in the ESL+ program:

Beyond the Classroom

The Mercersburg ESL+ experience is about much more than just the classroom. Students studying at Mercersburg Academy in the summer enjoy a variety of activities which lead to a meaningful immersion experience. 

Learn more about the experience:

ESL+ in Recent History

Mercersburg has hosted students from more than 15 countries and sovereign areas in recent summers for its highly recognized Intensive English Language Programs. Students from (but not limited to) Azerbaijan, China, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey engaged in demanding academic studies, traveled on exciting cultural trips, and made friends with other students through fun social and athletic activities.