North Lake > Liberal Arts > English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Why Take Credit ESOL?

The NLC (North Lake College) ESOL program can enable you to improve your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills so that you can transition directly into college-level coursework, such as US Government, Psychology, or English Composition.

Can I take ESOL courses if I speak little or no English?

If you speak little or no English, you are considered a "true beginner," and North Lake has a non-credit English program for you to get started. After a few months in that program, when you reach "high beginner" level, you will be ready to study in the credit ESOL program.

​I want to begin college level courses as soon as possible. Why should I take ESOL rather than DIRW (Developmental Integrated Reading and Writing)?

Both the ESOL and DIRW sequences prepare students for college level coursework.

DIRW is designed for native English speakers who grew up and attended high school in the U.S. As a result, faculty in these courses do not address the second language needs of non-native speakers. Likewise, DIRW faculty presume prior experience/knowledge with U.S. systems/processes. The DIRW sequence consists of two integrated reading and writing courses, so the fast pace of the curriculum is not appropriate for non-native speakers of English.

ESOL is designed for non-native English speakers who did not grow up and attend high school in the United States. The ESOL sequence includes distinct content areas which teach and reinforce grammar to support writing, introduce and develop reading skills and academic vocabulary, and build listening and speaking skills including pronunciation. ESOL faculty are trained in second language acquisition and are cognizant of factors that commonly lead to confusion for people new to a culture.

Program Features

Access to the Academic Success Center which includes writing, reading, and ESOL tutoring in addition to a designated ESOL computer lab (Click here​ for our Facebook page)
  • Small class size
  • Acquisition of technology skills in Blackboard, MS Office, and publisher supported software necessary to succeed in college level courses
  • Full and part time faculty all with MAs and graduate coursework in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or linguistics
  • Affordable tuition
  • International Center staffed by multilingual advisors and employees
Several schedule options:
  • ​Semester-length format (16 weeks), following the college's traditional credit schedule.
  • ​​Fast-track format (8 weeks)
  • ​Hybrid format - meeting half in the classroom and half online

​​​Frequently Asked Questions