ESL Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take other classes while taking ESL classes?

Yes, but taking your ESL courses should be your first priority. ESL courses give you the skills that you need to succeed in other college classes, so the more ESL courses that you take first, the more successful you will be in your other classes. If you need to take other classes while completing your ESL courses, you should talk with your counselor about what classes would be best for you.

What do the course numbers mean?

All ESL course numbers start with the number 1. The second number tells you the skill area. 0 is listening and speaking, 1 is writing and grammar, and 2 is reading and vocabulary. The third number is the level of the class.

How many levels do I have to take?

A placement test will tell you what level to start at in each skill area. You should then continue on to level 4 in each area. For example, if the placement test puts you in level 1 of writing and grammar (ES 111), then you will take ES 111, 112, 113, and 114 for writing and grammar. If the placement test puts you in level 3 of listening and speaking (ES 103), then you will take ES 103 and 104 for listening and speaking. If the placement test puts you in level 2 of reading and vocabulary (ES 122), then you will take ES 122, 123, and 124 for reading and vocabulary. 

Can I skip a level?

No. The program is designed so that each level builds on the level before it, so it is important not to skip a level.

Should I take level 4 in each area?

Yes. In level 4, you will learn language skills needed to succeed in other college classes, so it is important to complete level 4 in each skill area if you plan to continue taking college classes.

Do I need to take developmental courses after I complete my ESL requirements?

No. ESL classes will prepare you to take other college classes, so you do not need to take developmental reading or writing classes.

What writing class do I take after ES 114?

After ES 114, you should take either EN 100 or EN 101. Both classes meet the same composition requirement, but the contact hours are different. EN 100 meets for 4 hours a week and EN 101 meets for 3 hours a week. Many ESL students choose to take EN 100 so that they have more time with the teacher.

Can I take ES 114 and EN 100 at the same time?

No. ES 114 prepares you for EN 100, so you should complete ES 114 with a passing grade before taking EN 100 or EN 101.

What grade do I need to pass my ESL classes?

You must earn a final grade of a C or higher in order to pass your ESL classes and move on to the next level.

Can I register myself for ESL classes?

No. You must see a counselor or advisor to register for ESL classes.

Are ESL courses for credit?

Yes, you will receive four elective credits for each ESL course.

Are ESL courses transferable?

It depends on the school that you will be attending. You can check the transfer equivalency guide for more information. In addition, ESL credits can be used for elective credit toward the Associate of Arts degree (AA) with the Michigan Transfer Agreement. Finally, many universities will give you their own placement test and require ESL courses if necessary. Taking courses here will save you time at your transfer university by leaving you less ESL courses, if any, to take there.