Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions most students will encounter when starting the English as a Second Language program at Norwalk Community College.

Can credit ESL courses be used for other college requirements?

Yes. Some ESL courses can be applied as humanities/foreign language electives towards graduation/a degree (6 credits total). 10 credits of ESL (142 and higher) can be used toward a degree in general studies.

Is there a certificate in ESL at NCC?

Yes. There is a Certificate of Advanced English Proficiency.

Can students take other courses besides ESL?

Yes. Students can take other college courses besides ESL, depending on their ESL level. The Advising Grid will tell you which classes you can take at your ESL level. For example, in ESL 022 (Reading/Writing II) you can also take math and business office technology.

What are blended classes?

The following credit ESL classes can be taken as non-credit for reduced tuition. Students must be eligible to take the credit level classes and get a “P” (equal to a “C” letter grade in credit) to pass to the next higher credit ESL level.

  • ESL 022 Reading/Writing II
  • ESL 025 Grammar II (basic)
  • ESL 027 Oral Communications
  • ESL 132 Reading/Writing III
  • ESL 135 Grammar III (intermediate)
  • ESL 149 Pronunciation Workshop
  • ESL 145 Grammar IV (high intermediate)
  • ESL 155 Grammar V (advanced)

Students planning to get a degree, the ESL certificate or take most college courses need to take ESL writing 142, 152 and/or 192 for credit to pass into English Composition.

What happens in credit ESL courses?

  • Core courses are based on reading and writing
  • Regular attendance is required
  • Students keep writing portfolios
  • Class work is completed in labs and online
  • At least a C- is required to pass to the next ESL level
  • Group work and presentations

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of student writing assignments, mostly essays. At the end of the semester, teachers evaluate all work to decide if the student passes to the next level.

Is homework important?

Yes! Students should expect to do 6 hours of work a week outside of class. Not doing assignments could result in repeating a course.

Can a student skip an ESL level?

Yes. If the student’s writing is strong enough. The teacher at the higher level and the ESL director will evaluate the student’s portfolio to see if the student is ready for the higher level.

What if a student needs help outside of class?

The credit ESL program has a FREE tutoring program for students who need extra help with their writing or grammar. You can sign up in East 206.

Is there a language lab?

Yes. ESL 022, 132, and 142 require a 50-minute lab each week.

Activities include: listening comprehension, oral practice and recording, watching videos, pair and group conversations and discussions, and exploring academic and other websites.

Students in other ESL classes can use the lab for self-study.

What happens when a student finishes the ESL program?

After completing ESL 192, a student is usually ready to take ENG 101 (English Composition) – the basic writing class required of all NCC students.

Most college courses require eligibility for ENG 101. Some require a student to have completed ENG 101.

What is college forum?

A one-credit course required of all new, full time NCC students. It is a good introduction to college life, helps you learn how to manage your time and is an excellent way to meet new friends.