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Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) 
1. English is not my first language, but I took ESL in American high school and graduated. Why 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. Won’t ESL take longer to complete?
That depends on you and how much progress you make. Students who are enrolled in ESL 160 or 165 can take the Challenge Exam and go directly into English 100. (See other side for the Progress Chart).
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 199 have a higher success rate in English 100 (83%) compared to students who take English 099 (73%). ESL students also have a higher success rate than students who test directly into English 100 (65%).
4. I want to transfer. Will ESL look bad on my transcript?
All advanced ESL classes (160, 165, and 199) are transfer-level classes, unlike English 098 and 099, which are basic skills classes. Also, consider the fact that 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. You will still be able to register in the English class that corresponds to your English placement test score. If you originally placed in English 100, 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?
Students who tested into English 100 on the ESL Placement Test may choose to take ESL 160, emphasizing reading and summary writing; ESL 165, emphasizing advanced sentence construction; and/or ESL 199, emphasizing American-style essay composition.
7. How can I find the right ESL class?
Talk to an ESL Advisor. He or she will be happy to help you find the right class.
  • Greg Conner; Lit and Lang 133; (714) 432-5717
  • Tamar Goldmann; Lit and Lang 122; (714) 432-5595