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Core Skills ESL

The Core Skills ESL program in the American Culture and Language Institute teaches students from all over the world. Many of our students are immigrants who live and work in Northern Virginia. We also teach students who are visiting the area who have diplomatic or other short-term visa status.

Goals of Core Skills ESL

Female student in Core SkillsCore Skills ESL is a part-time program with five levels, from Intro to Low-Intermediate. Students who don't know much English may begin at the Intro or Low-Beginning level. The highest Core Skills ESL level is Low-Intermediate. When students complete all Core Skills ESL levels, they may continue in higher level Specialty Courses which are offered on some campuses, or they may take the placement test (the ACCUPLACER) to enter the College ESL program.

Core Skills ESL Levels

Male studentThere are five levels in Core Skills ESL from Intro to Low-Intermediate. Students who don’t know much English may begin at the Intro or Low-Beginning level. The highest Core Skills ESL level is Low-Intermediate. When students complete all Core Skills ESL levels, they may continue in higher level Specialty Courses which are offered on some campuses, or they may take the placement test to enter the College ESL program (the ACCUPLACER).

Placement Test

Students taking placement testsStudents take a placement test to determine their level of English before they enroll in Core Skills ESL courses. The ACLI placement test is a 30-minute writing test and an oral interview. You can find information about how to take the ACLI placement test on the campus of your choice.

Application Information

New students must apply to NOVA before registering for classes. If you want to register for Core Skills ESL classes, please be sure to check “CEU” when you are filling out your NOVA application.

Learn More

Learn more about College ESL

Learn more about the American Culture Language Institute ESL program