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Specialty Courses

  • ESL students studying in a group

ACLI’s Specialty Courses allow students to use English in a variety of situations while working on language skills, academic readiness and TOEFL preparation, or while learning about American culture, business or healthcare.

A wide range of students with a variety of goals enroll in Specialty Courses. They include permanent residents of the United States and students with a variety of short-term visa statuses. Many au pairs with J visas enroll in Specialty Courses at a campus or center near their host families.

Specialty Course Offerings

If you want to improve your speaking, you can register for:

  • Accent Improvement,
  • Introduction to Public Speaking for ESL Students,
  • Business Communication for ESL Students,
  • Café Conversation and more.

If you want to improve your reading and writing skills, you can register for:

  • Reading and Discussion,
  • The Immigrant Experience: Writing Your Story,
  • Advanced Writing,
  • Essential Grammar,
  • Business Writing for ESL Students and more.

If you want to learn about American culture or business, you can register for:

  • American Culture,
  • Contemporary Issues and Current Events,
  • Social Themes in American Film,
  • ESL for Employment,
  • American Business Practices and more.

If you want to prepare for the TOEFL, you can register for:

  • Introduction to TOEFL,
  • TOEFL Preparation-Advanced,
  • Speaking for the TOEFL,
  • Writing and Reading for the TOEFL and more.

Each campus offers Specialty ESL Courses. Visit the campus of your choice and click on the Schedule of ACLI Classes to find out which courses are offered there.

Application and Registration Information

You need to take the ACLI placement test in order to determine your level of English before registering for classes. The ACLI placement test is a 30-minute writing test and an oral interview.

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 rank at the highest level 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.

Hours and Prices

If you are interested in part-time ESL, you may take one or two Specialty Courses, meeting for two and a half hours or more per week. In addition, if you are an international student with an F-1 visa, you may enroll in Specialty Courses to fulfill all or part of your full-time requirement.

Students earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for their study in Specialty Courses. One CEU equals 10 hours of class. Specialty courses range from 15 hours per semester (1.5 CEUs) to 125 hours per semester (12.5 CEUs). Au pairs on J visas should note that if they need six academic credits they must register for 8.0 CEUs.

The tuition for Specialty Courses is the same for all students whether they are permanent residents of the U.S. or are here on a visa. Tuition is based on the number of CEUs awarded for the class. Check with your campus ACLI to find tuition information. Textbooks may or may not be required; check with the teacher of your class to find out if you need to buy a textbook.