Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the more common questions we get at the Center. If you can’t find an answer here, please feel free to contact the Center at 703.323.3438
- What is the ESL Center? What is the purpose of the Center?
- Where is the ESL Center located?
- Can any NOVA student use the ESL Center?
- How can I reach the Center?
- When are you open for tutoring this semester?
- Who runs the Center?
- What is tutoring?
- Who are the tutors?
- What happens at a tutoring appointment?
- What do I need to bring?
- Can a tutor write my paper for me?
- What sort of questions can a tutor answer?
- How do I make an appointment?
- How many times can I get a tutorial?
- What is a Conversation Workshop?
- What is a Reading Workshop?
- What is a Writing Workshop?
- What is a Drama Workshop?
- What times and where are the Workshops?
- Do I need to make an appointment in order to attend a Workshop?
- Will I have to pay to attend a workshop?
- What do I need to bring with me to a workshop?
- What software does the ESLCenter have?
- Can anyone use the software?
- What do I need in order to use the software in the Center?
- Why are movies being offered by the ESL Center?
- When and where are the movie showings?
- Does it cost anything to watch a movie?
- Who is allowed to come and watch movies?
- How will I understand the movie?
The ESL Center provides academic support to students currently enrolled at NOVA whose native language is not English.
We offer a wide range of services from tutoring and workshops, to software specifically designed to teach ESL concepts.
The ESL Center is located in the CG building, room 408 on the Annandale Campus.
Only ESL students can use the facility, but those who are enrolled at any campus are welcome.
You can contact the ESL Center by calling us at: 703.323.3438. If you’d like to come in and make an appointment in person, you can find us at CG 408.
Please see 'Center Hours' at the top left of the page for current operating hours
The ESL Center is run by Veronica Campos. She coordinates our team of tutors and Center support staff.
Tutoring is a 30-minute session where a student can work solely with a tutor, and work on any academic difficulties they may be having. The aim is to provide students with a contact for support and to help them advance through their academic studies.
The ESL Center has a wide range of tutors ranging from current NOVA students to community volunteers. For a full listing of tutors and more information about them, please visit our Meet the Staff page.
Your tutor will meet with you and you will work together at an individual tutoring station. There you will discuss any current difficulties you may be having, or any questions you may have. Your tutor will ask you several questions, identifying what areas you wish to work on. They will also look over any materials you have brought with you and work out the best way to use your time together. Please remember that our tutors will do their best, but they may not be able to cover all of your concerns in a single appointment. Students are welcome and encouraged to make repeat appointments where we will do our best to keep you with the same tutor and who will continue to work with you throughout the semester.
Please bring with you the assignment you wish to work on, as well as instructions from your teacher. It is also a good idea to bring your textbook with you. We have a small selection at the Center, but not all of them. Other than that, just bring a willingness to learn and what you want to discuss with your tutor, so you can both make the best use of your time together.
No. Our tutors will not write your paper for you, nor can they proofread a paper. They will identify with you key areas and common mistakes made by ESL students. They will also explain solutions so that you will be able to proofread your own work. Tutors can also help with essay structure and ensuring that you fully understand what the teacher is asking of you in each assignment.
A tutor can answer questions you may have about grammar rules, structures of essay papers, vocabulary and even give advice for things such as exam technique and ensuring you are familiar with the class instructions.
To make an appointment please contact us in one of the following ways:
Come by our office located at CG 408.
Each student is eligible for one free 30-minute tutoring session per week of the semester.
A Conversation Workshop is a great opportunity to practice speaking skills. In this workshop, groups of students are instructed on a conversation topic, and a combination of large group and pair work discussions will then follow. The aim is to share ideas and practice vocabulary learned in class.
The Reading Workshop focuses on how one can become an effective reader. ESL students are taught a specific reading strategy that can help them better comprehend reading materials. The workshop uses interesting, enjoyable and informative reading materials to practice this useful reading strategy with every week.
The Writing Workshop is the workshop you need to attend if you want to develop your writing skills, especially if you want to focus on English grammar, punctuation rules, learn about the most common errors committed in English by ESL students. We help students write clearer paragraphs and essays. We will assist you in becoming aware of your thought processes by brainstorming with you about your ideas.
Drama workshops typically consist of role-playing scenarios where students will work together to reenact situations they will find in real life. These sessions are a lot of fun, most of the situations tend to be fairly humorous, but the aim is to provide students with exposure and practice in realistic situations.
All our workshops can be found at CM363 at the following times:
Drama: Mondays 10:30 a.m.–Noon
Conversation: Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.–Noon
Writing: Wednesdays 10:30 a.m.–Noon
Reading: Thursdays 10:30 a.m.–Noon
No, simply arrive in time for the beginning of your chosen workshop at CM363.
Absolutely not! All of our workshops are offered for free to our ESL students.
Please bring a pen and paper to all of our workshops.
Please see our software page for a complete listing.
Any student currently enrolled in ESL classes at one of the NOVA classes may come and use our software free of charge.
To access the software you will need to know your NOVA LAN ID and password. If you are unsure what yours is, please call IT Support (703.426.4141) and they will be able to issue you with your logon information.
Immersing yourself in the language you are trying to learn can be immensely helpful. Movies are a great way to gain familiarity with things such as idiomatic phrases, and see conversation English in action! Our group setting allows students to share ideas with one another after the movie has ended, as well as providing a good glimpse of American culture. It can help you build your vocabulary skills and confidence in speaking the English language.
For those interested in watching a movie, please come to the Center and choose from the movie selections we have.
No. All of our movie screenings are absolutely free to our ESL students!
Any ESL student is welcome to come along and watch the movies.
All of our movie showings are accompanied by a leaflet containing valuable information about plot and characters. To aid comprehension, all of our movies are shown with English subtitles.