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IntenSive English Program

The Intensive English courses have been designed to prepare students for American colleges and universities. There are six levels of courses covering core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will be placed in appropriate levels of these classes based on the results of the ESL placement test (an oral interview and a writing sample). F-1 students must take both intensive classes (Speaking/Listening and Reading/Writing) to fulfill their visa requirements.

Accuplacer or TOEFL test scores will not be considered when placing students into the intensive ESL program.  ESL placement test results can be used at all NOVA campuses. Students have access to the library and computer labs.

All new students must take a placement test before they enter the program. The starting level will be determined through this placement test. To advance into the next level, students must successfully complete the previous level. Students study one level per semester.

Intensive Speaking & Listening

By the end of the term, students can do these things:

Level 70/71:

  • Low-Beginning level (Survival English)
  • Understands phonics and basic sound production
  • Has a vocabulary of 500+ survival words
  • Speaks in simple sentences and questions
  • Begins critical thinking skills and language problem-solving

Level 72:

  • Beginning level (social/ workplace English)
  • Vocabulary of 1,000+ words
  • Emphasis on accurate sound production
  • Can understand most day to day spoken English
  • Knows sentence structure, grammar and spelling rules.
  • Can use sequential and hierarchic English

Level 73:

  • High-Beginning conversation skills
  • Vocabulary of 1,500+ words
  • Speaks freely in largely grammatical English
  • Can use organization and comprehension English thinking skills

Level 74:

  • Converses easily in low-intermediate English for multiple purposes
  • Vocabulary of 2,000+ words
  • Addresses accent issues
  • Uses accurately analysis, opinion, interpretation, and synthesis, and reflection skills in listening
  • Uses a variety styles and registers
  • Consolidates oral grammar skills

Level 75:

  • Listens and speaks largely independently approaching the collegiate level
  • Speaks without grammatical flaws
  • Thinks in English
  • Uses note-taking in ESL lecture class accurately

Level 76:

  • Speech is at collegiate level
  • Listening is reflective and accurate
  • Critical thinking skills are in place

Intensive Reading & Writing

By the end of the term, students can do these things

Level 80/81:

  • Uses low beginning reading skills
  • Writes basic sentences and questions
  • Masters phonics for spelling
  • Has 600 word reading vocabulary

Level 82:

  • Has beginning reading skills
  • Reads and writes for various tasks
  • Knows basic sentence structure, grammar and spelling rules
  • Has a working vocabulary of 750 words
  • Uses sequence and hierarchy to organize thinking

Level 83:

  • Uses high beginning reading and writing skills
  • Uses organization and comprehension skills reliably
  • Uses process writing comfortably
  • Writes using fully developed paragraph forms
  • Good spelling and punctuation skills

Level 84:

  • Reads and writes for multiple purposes at low-intermediate level
  • Uses analysis, opinion, interpretation and synthesis to solve problems in English
  • Writes strong paragraphs using revising, editing, style and register accurately
  • Begins reflective writing
  • Begins writing short compositions

Level 85:

  • Reading approaches college level
  • Reads for a variety of purposes
  • Formal literature is introduced
  • Masters short essay writing
  • Uses research techniques
  • Has grammar skills firmly in place

Level 86:

  • Reads most English accurately
  • Writes expanded essays accurately
  • Researches extensively for writing