Non-Credit Program & Courses

ESL Non-credit offers “CORE” courses in reading/writing, grammar, and speaking/listening every semester.  English for Specific Purposes (ESP) are offered most semesters (see descriptions on bottom and check schedule).

All ESL Non-credit classes include reading, writing, grammar, listening and speaking.

  • The Reading/Writing classes have a lot of reading and writing.
  • The Speaking and Listening classes practice conversation a lot.
  • The Grammar classes have a lot of grammar exercises.

Writing is very important in all of these classes to prepare students for ESL credit courses and academic classes. Students are placed in an ESL level based on the ESL Placement Test which includes reading comprehension, grammar, and writing a composition.

Most ESL Non-credit classes meet four hours per week (usually two days per week) for 14 weeks (total – 58 hours per semester). Full-time students take twelve hours of classes per week.  Students often work with partners and groups to prepare for academic classes and employment. All students are expected to attend all classes regularly and are required to do homework and take class tests.

ESL Non-credit “CORE” Classes (58 hours)

Reading/Writing – Levels 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60

Learn to write sentences and compositions.  Study correct sentence structure for speaking and writing.  Practice the writing process including brainstorming, organizing, drafting, and editing.  Read short stories and articles and discuss them.  Do exercises to improve comprehension and vocabulary.  Students will read and write a lot in class and at home.

Grammar – Levels 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60

Learn grammar for writing and speaking. Study verb tenses, parts of speech, and other grammar points.  Practice writing sentences and paragraphs. Read and discuss a few stories to improve comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary. Students will do a lot of grammar exercises and some writing in class and at home.

Speaking/Listening – Levels 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60

Improve your speaking and listening skills and build your confidence.  Listen to audio CDs and discuss them to improve listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and speaking.  Practice speaking English in small groups.  Students will also do writing exercises in class and at home.

Speaking/Listening EDO (Educational Discoveries) – Levels 30, 40, 50, 60

Meet with the instructor and the class at the college twice every week. Use a special website instead of a book for class work and homework. Use interactive lessons in listening, speaking, reading, and grammar on the computer.  Practice speaking English in small groups. Students will also do writing exercises in class and home. (Computers are available at NCC for homework).

English for Beginners 10 – Open to Level 10

Begin to develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.  Learn to speak and write English with basic grammatical sentences and short dialogues about personal information, daily life skills, and classroom directions and tasks. Practice speaking and listening using basic grammar and basic vocabulary in pairs and groups.  Listen to audio CDs, do grammar exercises, and read and write short paragraphs in class and at home.

Writing/Grammar – Open to Levels 40, 50, 60 and up

Improve grammar and writing.  Review correct sentence structure and paragraph organization. Practice the writing process including brainstorming, planning, editing, and the correct essay format. Students will read some stories and discuss them. Students will do a lot of grammar exercises and writing in class and at home.

To pass to the next level in ESL Non-credit, students usually need to:

  • Successfully complete TWO courses in one level and
  • Pass tests in the class and be recommended by the instructor and
  • Write an essay evaluated by the ESL Non-credit Program.

To pass into the ESL Credit Program from ESL Non-credit classes, students must complete these minimum requirements:

  • Successfully complete ESL Reading/Writing 50 and
  • Pass one Grammar course in level  40, or 50, or 60 and
  • Write an essay evaluated by the credit program and
  • Receive a strong recommendation from the Level 50/60 Instructor.

English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Courses

Conversation Circles – (Fall and Spring hours below)

This class is for Au Pairs and is open to all ESL students. Practice speaking, listening, and vocabulary for conversation and pronunciation. This is a fun, dynamic, interactive, informal conversation class.
Conversation Circles 26/36 – Open to Levels 20 and 30 – 58 hours
Conversation Circles 76 – Open to Levels 40, 50, 60 & up
Thursday nights – 30 hours | Friday mornings – 58 hours

Basic Pronunciation 68 – (58 hours) – Open to Levels 40, 50, 60 and up

Learn to speak more clearly.  Practice sounds, words, intonation and stress in words & sentences to improve pronunciation. Students will also practice speaking and listening skills.  Students will have assignments in the ESL Language Lab and at home.

Business for ESL Students – (42 hours) – Open to Levels 40, 50, 60 and up

Study different kinds of businesses and the basic operations of business. Discuss international business including importing and exporting. Learn about starting and owning a small business (entrepreneurship). Practice communication skills used in corporations such as reading and writing business proposals, marketing plans, emails, and customer service.  Review vocabulary for management, marketing, production, etc.  Discuss current topics in business from news sources such as the Wall Street Journal.

TOEFL Test Preparation – (58 hours) – Open to Levels 132 & up

Prepare for the TOEFL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language).  This course will provide intermediate learners of English as a Second Language with techniques for taking this international exam. Learn strategies and tips for vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, grammar, speaking and listening, and writing an effective essay.  The TOEFL exam is often required to enter a four-year college or university in the United States.  It is not required for NCC.  This is a high level, intense course with a lot of writing and homework.

Reading Circles 78 – 43½ (43.5) hours – Open to Levels 132 and Up

This class is for higher level ESL students who enjoy reading to improve English fluency. American short stories will be the basis for discussion to improve reading comprehension and speaking/listening. These skills will help students in ESL and academic classes, work, and living in the United States. Students will review grammar and learn new vocabulary and idioms used in the stories. Students will read the short stories, do comprehension exercises, and write short assignments in class and for homework.

Writing/Grammar on Computer 61 – (58 hours) – Open to Levels 40, 50, 60 and Up

This class focuses on sentence structure and organization of a basic written composition.  Students practice writing good sentences with correct grammar.

  • Develop ability to use verb tenses and other grammar structures in sentences
  • Learn to write a variety of sentences (simple and compound) with clear meaning
  • Improve ability to write an organized composition (introduction, body, and conclusion)
  • Improve writing of  a coherent composition that develops an idea in 1 to 1 ½ pages
  • Learn to use the computer to write a composition
  • Learn to use Blackboard website for grammar exercise, writing, and homework.

Writing/Grammar 63 – (58 hours) – Open to Levels 60 and Up

This class focuses on developing a well-written essay. Students practice applying grammar rules to write complex sentences.

  • Develop use of a variety of sentence structures (simple, compound, complex)
  • Improve ability to apply basic grammatical structures in exercises and writing with consistency and accuracy
  • Improve ability to produce logical, coherent, meaningful essays (with introduction, body, and conclusion)
  • Practice editing essays.

This Writing/Grammar 63 class is open to students in levels 60 and above and students who have completed Reading/Writing 50 AND Grammar 55/53/61.