About the ESL Center

The English as a Second Language Center is an academic support center on NOVA's Annandale Campus. Our goal is to provide additional academic assistance to both credit and continuing education ESL students who are enrolled at the Annandale Campus.


Spring 2015
Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
January 19 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) CLOSED
March 9 - 15 (Spring Break) CLOSED
June 4 (staff training day) CLOSED
June 12 (staff training day) CLOSED

Click here for tutoring hours.


CG 408 Godwin Building
Annandale Campus


Brian Adler, Center Supervisor

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

General Information





What is the ESL Center? What is the purpose of the Center?

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.


Where is the ESL Center located?

The ESL Center is located in the CG building, room 408 on the Annandale Campus.


Can any NOVA student use the ESL Center?

Any ESL student, past or present, can use the facility, but those who are enrolled at any campus are welcome.


How can I reach the Center?

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.


When are you open for tutoring this semester?

Please see 'Center Hours' at the top left of the page for current operating hours


Who runs the Center?

The ESL Center is run by the Center Supervisor, who coordinates our team of tutors and center support staff.


What is tutoring?

Tutoring is a 50-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.


Who are the tutors?

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.


What happens at a tutoring appointment?

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.


What do I need to bring?

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.


Can a tutor write my paper for me?

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.


What sort of questions can a tutor answer?

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.


How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment please contact us in one of the following ways:
Phone: 703.323.3438
Come by our office located at CG 408.


How many times can I get a tutorial?

Each student is eligible for one free 50-minute tutoring session per week of the semester.


What is Conversation Club?

Conversation Club is a great opportunity to practice your speaking and pronunciation skills with other ESL students and an ESL tutor. In these workshops, students are guided by the tutor to discuss cultural events and other topics together or in small groups. The aim is to share ideas and practice vocabulary learned inside and outside of class. Students are encouraged to bring things they would like to discuss to the workshop. There is no need to sign up, just come to CG 408. Days and times of various Conversation Club meetings will be posted outside the ESL Center door.


Do I need to make an appointment in order to attend a Workshop?

No, simply arrive in time for the beginning of your chosen workshop at CG 408.


Will I have to pay to attend a workshop?

Absolutely not! All of our workshops are offered for free to our ESL students.


What do I need to bring with me to a workshop?

Please bring a pen and paper.


What Software does the ESL center have?

Please see our software page for a complete listing.


Can anyone use the software?

Any student currently enrolled in ESL classes at one of the NOVA classes may come and use our software free of charge.


What do I need in order to use the software in the center?

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.


Why are movies being offered by the ESL center?

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.


When and where are the movie showings?

For those interested in watching a movie, please come to the Center and choose from the movie selections we have. 


Does it cost anything to watch a movie?

No. All of our movie screenings are absolutely free to our ESL students!


Who is allowed to come and watch movies?

Any ESL student is welcome to come along and watch the movies.


How will I understand the movie?

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.