HELP offers an Academic English Program in a series of year-round intensive English courses. During the academic school year, August to May, there are four 8-week terms. In the summer, May to August, there are two 6-week terms. Most students study full-time for 20 hours per week with an F-1 student visa. Full-time students take four courses per term.

In the Fall terms, classes are 60-minutes and are scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. or 12:30pm – 5:00pm Monday through Thursday.  In the Spring and Summer terms, classes are 65-minutes and are scheduled from 8:30am – 2:00pm.  Students who successfully complete their studies receive a certificate of completion. For more information, please click the LEARNING links below.

In addition to academic English, HELP offers courses for pre-service and in-service teachers of English. The Cambridge University CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) is a world-recognized, intensive 4-week course for people with little to no previous teaching experience. HELP is one of only 22 training centers in the U.S. for this prestigious qualification program. For more information about CELTA and our Seminar Programs, click the TEACHING links below.

Academic English Program
HELP’s Academic English Program is our main intensive English program (IEP). The curriculum is based upon current research and best practices in the field. We focus on preparing students for academic work at UHM or similar institutions. Students who successfully complete our curriculum may apply for conditional admission to the University of Hawaii.


Our four-level curriculum covers the skill areas of English reading, writing, listening, speaking, and grammar as well as test preparation for the TOEFL ITP®. Depending on their level, students take from two to four required core classes and zero to two electives. The electives vary each term. Please click here to see course descriptions.


4 Level Curriculum at HELP
Level Description Required Core Classes Number of Electives Per Term
100 Beginner Reading Foundation None
Writing Foundation
Listening & Speaking
Basic Grammar
200 Intermediate Reading Proficiency 1
Writing Development
Grammar Development
3oo High-Intermediate Reading Connections 2
Writing Expansion
400 Advanced Academic Reading 2
Academic Writing

Level placement is based upon the University of Michigan EPT (English Placement Test) scores, a writing sample, and a speaking test, which are given on Orientation Day.

Classes for each skill are not at fixed times each term, which provides students with a college-like schedule. Classes of 60 minutes each are held Monday through Thursday between the hours of 7:45am – 12:15pm or 12:30pm – 5:00pm in the Fall, and 65-minute classes from 8:30am – 2:00pm in the Spring/Summer terms. Fridays are reserved for co-curricular field trips and service-learning experiences as well as for teacher-led extra-curricular activities.


Sample Class Schedule (Fall)
Time Course ID Course Name
7:45-8:45 331R Reading Connections
421LS  Academic Listening
8:55-9:55 341W Writing Expansion
441W Academic Writing
10:05-11:05 311S Speech Communication
431R Academic Reading
11:15-12:15 351T TOEFL Grammar
453G English Grammar A-Z
12:15-12:30                            LUNCH/SHIFT BREAK
12:30-1:30 111LS Listening & Speaking
231R Reading Development
1:40-2:40 151G Basic Grammar
241W Writing Development
2:50-3:50 131R Reading Foundations
251G Grammar Development
4:00-5:00 141W Writing Foundations
211LS Listening & Speaking

bold = Required Core Course

Sample Class Schedule (Spring/Summer)
Time Course ID Course Name
8:30-9:35 131R Reading Foundations 1
241W Writing Development 1
331R Reading Connections 1
431R Academic Reading 1
9:45-10:50 111LS Listening & Speaking 1
231R Reading Proficiency 1
341W Writing Expansion 1
441W Academic Writing 1
11:00-12:05 141W Writing Foundation 1
251G Grammar Development 1
311LS Listening & Speaking 1
411LS American Culture through Film
12:05-12:55                            LUNCH/SHIFT BREAK
12:55-2:00 151G Basic Grammar 1
231V Building TOEFL Vocabulary
321T TOEFL Listening
461I Cultural Issues

bold = Required Core Course

Class Sizes

With small class sizes of 6 to 16 students, HELP students have numerous opportunities to participate in class discussions, to ask questions, and to interact with classmates and instructors.


Private Lessons
One of HELP’s program goals is to address “students’ individual needs and goals.” One way we meet this goal is by offering private lessons for both HELP and non-HELP students. During private lessons, you can study one-on-one with a HELP teacher to focus on a specific area of concern, such as:
  • Pronunciation, speaking and presentation skills
  • Academic writing and writing for specific purposes (e.g. resume, TOEFL)
  • Test preparation: TOEFL, SAT, or GRE
  • Grammar, vocabulary, or just brushing up your daily English

Private lessons are held in one of HELP’s classrooms on weekdays, at a time of your choice between 8:30am-5:00pm. The minimum length of a lesson is one hour. Semi-private lessons can also be arranged for 2-4 students wanting to study the same topic or material.

If interested in private lessons, please fill out the application form here: Private Lessons Application and send it to


Special Short-Term Programs

Groups that desire an English Program for a short-term of two or more weeks are invited to request a customized program. We can design a complete program, which includes the curriculum, qualified instructors, textbooks, accommodations, co-curricular field trips, and/or optional guided activities.

Institutions or organizations that want to bring groups of students for Academic English instruction can also be integrated into the regular HELP program. While HELP’s classes are not credit-bearing at UH Manoa, many institutions do give credit for work done by their students at HELP, and we will provide detailed grade reports for this purpose upon request.Please contact us for more information.


CELTA Program
Click here for more information about our CELTA program.


Special Seminar Programs

HELP can assist groups of any size with seminars in a specific topic related to Methods and Techniques of Teaching English, Second Language Studies, and American University Culture. Due to our location within the renowned Department of Second Language Studies, HELP has successfully hosted numerous groups of English teachers from non-English speaking backgrounds for month-long intensive workshops in the Theory and Methodology of Language teaching.

In addition to arranging for academic lectures on a wide variety of topics, HELP can assist groups with arranging tours and visits to cultural and historical sites in Hawaii, such as Pearl Harbor/Arizona Memorial, Hanauma Bay, and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Visits to neighbor islands such as Maui and Hawaii (Big Island) can also be arranged on an escorted or unescorted basis.

Please contact us for more information.