Frequently Asked Questions
What classes do you offer?
The heart of our program is our four separate skills classes: Oral Communication, Reading and Vocabulary, Writing, and Grammar. We offer four levels for each of these. For upper-level students, we also offer electives in Advanced American Pronunciation and Intensive Grammar. We even have a TOEFL Preparation Course and an English for Business Course offered through our Continuing Education program.
What levels of English do you teach?
We teach students from the high beginning/low intermediate level through the advanced level.
What are the minimum English requirements for ESOL classes?
To begin our program, students need a basic foundation in both spoken and written English.
At minimum, they should be able to ask and answer simple questions in spoken English and write four or five sentences in answer to a written question.
What is the difference between the Adult Education ESL program and the ESOL program?
Both are great programs. The ESL program is designed for students from the beginner level up through the low intermediate level. The ESL classes teach all four skills together, and the class length is longer. Students generally remain at one level for the full academic year. Students need to attend 75% of the scheduled classes to get credit for the course. The ESL classes are more informal and focus on English for daily life. You can find more information about that program here.
The ESOL program is an academic language program whose primary goal is to prepare students for the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills required in college classes in the United States. Students study academic reading skills and academic vocabulary. They write and receive feedback on a range of different academic paragraphs and essays. They practice listening and taking notes in the academic classroom. They practice creating and delivering academic oral presentations, and they learn to participate effectively in small and large group class discussions. The four language skills are divided into separate classes so that instruction targets students’ specific needs. For example, one student might have strong speaking and listening skills but lower reading and writing skills. That student could take Reading and Vocabulary Level 1 or 2 and Oral Communication Level 4. Another student might have strong reading and writing abilities but low speaking and listening skills. That student might take Oral Communication 1 or 2 and Grammar Level 4 and Writing Level 3.
How long does it take to complete the program?
This depends on what level you place into and how many classes you take in a semester. We have intensive classes where you can complete 2 levels in 16 weeks.
Do I receive a certificate?
We provide certificates only to au pairs. Because our classes are academic, students can request a transcript of their grades (A, B, C, D, or F) as proof of completing a course. C and higher are passing grades.
I'm an au pair. How do I request a certificate?
To request a course completion certificate, au pairs must email Elizabeth Oglesby email@example.com with the following information: ACC ID number and proof of au pair status- an email from your agency will suffice. Certificates are sent after final grades are posted in the system. It could take 5-7 business days to receive a certificate by email.
Can ESOL students receive enrollment verifications or student housing verifications?
Traditional credit students can receive them in the admissions and records office. To learn more visit this website.Continuing Education students cannot receive letters of enrollment or housing verification forms. A transcript of course enrollment can be provided.
After I complete a course, how do I request a transcript?
The transcript request procedure depends on how a student registered for classes.
Credit students: https://www.austincc.edu/students/order-an-acc-transcript
CE students: https://continue.austincc.edu/student-resources
Will these classes make me TSI complete in reading and writing?
Yes! Students who pass Reading and Vocabulary 4 are TSI complete in reading, and students who pass Writing 4 are TSI complete in writing. Students who are not TSI exempt will have to take the TSI test at least once, but their grade on the reading and writing portions won’t matter. (The TSI mathematics requirement is separate, of course. Our classes can’t help you with that!)
Does ACC have an Intensive English Program (IEP)?
ACC’s Intensive English Program has been paused due to student visa restrictions created during the Covid pandemic.
Continuing Education vs Credit
Which program is better for me?
Classes in the ESOL Department are co-listed in the ACC credit and continuing education programs.
The two programs are exactly the same in terms of student experience. Each class section will have some students from the credit program and some from CE. They do the same work, take the same tests, and are graded in the same way.
Most of the time, the choice between the two programs comes down to two factors: transcripts and money.
Transcripts: To join the credit program, students need to submit a high school or college transcript. The continuing education program does not require transcripts and is open to all students; a high school diploma is not required.
Cost: For students who live outside the ACC District boundaries, the continuing education program is usually less expensive. The only exception to this is related towith financial aid. Out-of-district credit students who get financial aid may pay less for their classes than continuing education students.
How much do classes cost?
Credit: The cost per credit hour depends on residency status. You can see the different rates here. ESOL classes are 3 credit hours each.
Continuing Education: All students pay the same amount. Each course is $256 for the entire session. If a student takes four courses in a semester, the total would be $256 x 4 = $1,024.
Can students set up a payment plan, to pay in installments?
Credit: Yes! You can set up a payment plan with the Cashier Office. To learn more about payment plans visit here.
Continuing Education: Unfortunately, no. Payment is due 24 hours after registration.
Are the Continuing Education classes transferable to credit?
Yes! If you take classes through continuing education, they will be eligible to transfer to credit. Once you have completed the academic credit application and completed an accredited class, you can go to continuing education and fill out a form to transfer your noncredit classes into credit. You must complete a credit class with a passing grade before you can transfer your CE classes into credits.
When is the application deadline?
We accept applications on a rolling basis. Don’t wait! Applying early ensures you will have plenty of time to finish the application, testing and registration process before the next course start date. The initial ESOL application only takes a few minutes. Why not start today?
The entire enrollment process (application, testing and registration) takes about three weeks at minimum for credit students and about half as long for continuing education students. Credit students who want to apply for financial aid must begin even earlier.
We offer 16-week, 12-week and 8-week courses, so there is often a start date just around the corner. Look here for the ACC calendar with the session start dates.
When is the registration deadline?
Credit: Registration ends the day before the class session begins. You can check the session start dates here.
Continuing Education: The last day to self-register is the day before the class session begins. Students may still be able to register after this, with help from the ESOL Department Office, even if they have the student has missed one or fewer class meetings.
What is the ESOL Assessment?
The ESOL Assessment is our department’s placement test. The test shows us which ESOL level or levels will match a student’s abilities best. This test is required for all new students. It has three sections: an oral interview, some multiple-choice questions, and an essay or paragraph.
How much does the assessment test cost?
The cost of the assessment test is $29.
- Can I study for the test?
I finished my test. How do I know my ESOL course level?
An ESOL assessor or ACC advisor will look at your ESOL Assessment test results and use them to place you in each of our skills courses. For details, see the ESOL Placement Chart.
How many courses should I take at a time?
You choose the number. If you want to take just one or two courses, that is fine. Students who don’t have major commitments outside of school and who plan to study in our program full-time take four or more courses per semester. However, many of our students have significant outside commitments–jobs and/or family responsibilities. These students might take one, two or three courses per semester.
Do I have to take all four skill areas?
No, this is your choice. All the skills support one another, so most students do best if, at some point, they take classes in all four skill areas. But if you want to concentrate on just one skill area, that is fine. For example, you might want to work only on your listening and speaking skills and not worry about reading and writing. In that case, you could sign up just for oral communication classes. Or perhaps you just need help with writing. You can take a writing class only, perhaps paired with a grammar class.
How many class sessions are there per week?
Most of our courses meet two days a week, but we have a few that meet four days and a very few that meet just one day a week. We also have a few online classes that meet asynchronously, where there are no scheduled meeting times, and students work more independently. You can find the meeting times of classes on our course schedule: credit and continuing education.
What about homework?
Students will have regular homework assignments. On average, professors assign about one to two hours of homework for each hour students spend in class. This means that a student can expect to spend about three to six hours each week doing homework for a class that meets three hours a week. Please keep this in mind when you are choosing how many courses to sign up for. A class that meets three hours a week requires a six to nine-hour-per-week time commitment.
What is the refund policy?
Credit: Dropping a class may entitle you to a 100%, 70%, or 25% refund (depending on when the class is dropped). For more information regarding refunds percentages, click here.
Continuing Education: Students receive a 100% refund if a course is canceled or if the student drops before the second class day. Students that drop a course on or after the second class day will be refunded a portion of the course tuition cost according to the schedule here. Additional information on the policy can also be found on the linked page.
When should I buy my textbook?
You should wait to buy the textbook until the first week of classes and the textbook is confirmed by the instructor.
How much do textbooks cost?
The cost of textbooks varies depending on which book(s) are chosen for the class.