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FAQs

Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) 
 
 
1. English is not my first language, but I took ESL in American high school and graduated. Should I take ESL in college?
 
Most American high schools do not emphasize grammar. As a result, students who take both English and ESL in high school are fluent and advanced, but they still make mistakes that are not acceptable at the college level. At OCC, the ESL classes are taught by professors with special training. They are experts in grammar and reading. Their goal is to help you read and write at the college level as quickly as possible.
 
2. I need to finish school quickly. In order to save time, is it best to skip ESL?
 
That depends on you and how much progress you make. If you find a level that is right for you, you can study hard and skip higher levels.  However, it is important to start in the right level.

Take the ESL Guided Self Placement Survey in order to find out what level is best for you!
 
3. I don’t want to be in a class with people who don’t speak English. Won’t I be wasting my time?
 
While some students in ESL classes may have speaking difficulties, most do not. Like you, they need help with reading and writing for success in graduation and transfer. And ESL class is definitely not a waste of time. Students who complete ESL 192 have a higher success rate in English 100 compared to students who take English 099. ESL students also have a higher success rate than students who test directly into English 100.
 
4. I want to transfer. Will ESL look bad on my transcript?
 
Many students who are not prepared for college-level English will drop out of English 100 before the end of the semester. Avoid dropping out by making sure that you are prepared with the language skills that you need. Ws and Ds look bad on your transcript. ESL classes do not.
 
5. If I decide to take ESL, will I lose my English placement?
 
No. All students have access to Freshman Composition at any time.  You may register in English 100 at any time whether or not you complete any preparatory classes.
 
6. I am an international student. I tested into English 100, but I’m a little nervous. What can I do?
 
If you are nervous about taking English 100, you can choose to take ESL 100 instead.  This course is CSU A2 transferable, and the material is equivalent to English 100.  However, the instructors have degrees in both ESL and English, and an extra hour of instruction time has been added in order to give some extra attention to ESL grammar and sentence structure errors.

If you prefer to take another course before enrolling in ENGL/ESL 100, you can choose to take ESL 192, which teaches American-style essay composition to English learners.  ESL 062 is also available in order to improve your skills in reading and summary writing.
 
7. How can I find the right ESL class?
 
Option #2: Talk to an ESL Advisor. He or she will be happy to help you find the right class.
  • Laurie Barton; Lit and Lang 133; LBarton@occ.cccd.edu 
  • Cheryl Bucholtz-Magallon; Lit and Lang 133; CBucholtz@occ.cccd.edu