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Levels of English in Core Skills ESL

The Core Skills ESL program has five levels from Intro to Low-Intermediate. In addition, students at higher levels of proficiency may take Specialty Courses on some campuses in a variety of skill areas and on a variety of topics.

Core Skills ESL courses are designed to help students in personal enrichment, job advancement or admission to college.

What Will I Work on in Core Skills ESL?

Students reading and writingIn the reading and writing Core Skills ESL courses, you will develop and improve your reading, writing and grammar skills. In the listening and speaking Core Skills ESL courses, you will develop and improve your skills in understanding spoken English and speaking clearly and effectively.

On some campuses Core Skills classes are offered as integrated skills. This means you work on all skills in each class meeting, practicing listening, speaking, pronunciation, reading, writing and grammar in each class.

Click on the links in the box at the right to see a description of each Core Skills level.

Placement into Core Skills ESL

Student working on placement testYou need to take the ACLI placement test to determine your level of English before registering for classes. The ACLI placement test is a 30-minute writing test and an oral interview. You should contact the campus of your choice to find out how to take the ACLI placement test on that campus. After you get your placement results, you can register for classes. You can use placement results from one campus to register at any NOVA ACLI.

If you place into the highest level of Core Skills ESL on the ACLI placement test and want to take academic classes at NOVA, you may choose to take the ACCUPLACER to find out if you qualify to register for College ESL classes.