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English as a Second Language (ESL)

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Aloha! Hawai'i Community College (Hawaii CC) offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to help English Language Learning (ELL) students prepare for college level courses.

Classes are divided into 2 levels:

Upper Intermediate English

In this class you will learn study skills to be successful in your classes, lots of new vocabulary, and you will learn reading skills. The reading skills cover what to do before you read, what to do while you read, and what you will be able to do after you read.
In this class you will learn academic grammar and how it is different from the grammar that we use with friends and family in informal situations.
In this class you will learn how to write academically. We begin with how to write a grammatically correct complete paragraph and progress to essays.

Advanced English

In this class you will learn about critical reading and how to understand how a writer uses the English language to inform, entertain, and persuade the reader. You will also learn lots of new academic vocabulary.
In this class you will learn advanced grammar skills to apply to your academic writing. These skills will help you develop your own writing style with sophistication and clarity.
In this class you will strengthen your academic writing skills by learning how to inform and persuade your readers convincingly.

Reach for the sky together
Which direction do you want to take?

Who should take Hawaii CCs ESL classes?


You should take our ESL classes if:

  • you learned another language before English, and
  • you have trouble reading and writing in English, and/or
  • you have trouble understanding written or spoken English

We recommend taking ESL reading, writing, and grammar classes at the same time. The reason for this recommendation is because many of the skills that you learn in reading and grammar are needed in writing. However, taking all three classes during the same semester is not required.

What are the differences between ESL classes and other English classes?
Hawaii CCs ESL classes have many benefits for speakers of other languages:

  • smaller class sizes
  • a comfortable learning environment
  • reading and writing instruction specifically for speakers of other languages
  • assistance with pronunciation
  • assistance with computers
  • lots of individual support for every student
  • lots of new and useful vocabulary
  • access to our ESL lab (http://www.hawaii.hawaii.edu/tlc/ESL)
  • counseling services with counselors that understand exactly what you need


picture of road pathway

Reach for the sky together

What is the ESL Lab?

The ESL lab is a place where ESL students can receive help with writing, grammar, vocabulary, and computer skills. The lab is located in the Learning Center. See this link for more information: http://www.hawaii.hawaii.edu/tlc/ESL
Map: http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/tlc/Graphics/MapCampus.jpg

How is the Hawai`i Community College Intensive English Program (IEP) different from the ESL program?

1. The IEP classes are non-credit and not covered by financial aid.

2. ESL classes earn credit and qualify for financial aid.

3. The IEP places students according to the following ESL Compass scores:

Level 1: 0-50
Level 2: 51-64
Level 3: 65-70
Level 4: 71+

4. The ESL program places students according to the following ESL Compass scores:

ESL 20R: 71-83
ESL 21: 84-93

ESL 20G: 71-83
ESL 22G: 84-93

ESL 20W: 13 for the writing sample
ESL 22W: 15 for the writing sample

5. IEP classes meet 4 times a week for 8 week sessions.

6. ESL classes run on a semester system (16 weeks).

7. The IEP focuses on the needs of international students with assistance for visas, housing, and adjusting to life in Hilo. http://iephawaii.com/Default.asp

8. The ESL program focuses on the needs of English language learners who are residents.


How do I register for ESL classes?

picture of road pathway
Follow these steps...

Option 1
If you are not already a student of Hawai`i Community College please take the following steps:

1. Apply to Hawai`i Community College online:
https://hawaii.hawaii.edu/apply

2. Make an appointment with the Hale Kea Testing Center to take the ESL Compass placement tests: http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/halekea/

3. Register for ESL classes after you receive your placement test results using the MyUH portal:
https://myuh.hawaii.edu/cp/home/displaylogin

Option 2
If you completed and passed level 4 with the Hawai`i Community College Intensive English Program (IEP), you can automatically register for the advanced levels of ESL courses (ESL 21, ESL 22G, ESL 22W).

Option 3
If you are currently a student of Hawai`i Community College:

1. Make an appointment with the Hale Kea Testing Center to take the ESL Compass placement tests:
http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/halekea/

2. Register for ESL classes after you receive your placement test results using the MyUH portal: https://myuh.hawaii.edu/cp/home/displaylogin

scenic coastline picture
Here's the way

How do I know which classes to take?

Option 1
If you are not already a student of Hawai`i Community College please take the following steps:

1. If you are a former IEP (Intensive English Program) student, and you have passed and completed level 4, you will register for ESL 21, ESL 22G, and ESL 22W. [link course descriptions]

Option 2
If you are not already a student of Hawai`i Community College please take the following steps:

If you are a new student, you will know which classes to take after you receive your ESL Compass placement test results. [link how to register for classes]

Below you can see what your progression would be for options 1 and 2.

Progression Charts

Option 1

Intensive English Program
(Non-Credit)

ESOL 10A
Writing & Grammar
Level 1

ESOL 20A
Reading & Vocabulary
Level 1

ESOL 30A
Listening & Speaking
Level 1

ESOL 10B
Writing & Grammar
Level 2

ESOL 20B
Reading & Vocabulary
Level 2

ESOL 30B
Listening & Speaking
Level 2

ESOL 10C
Writing & Grammar
Level 3

ESOL 20C
Reading & Vocabulary
Level 3

ESOL 30D
Listening & Speaking
Level 4

ESL Program

ESL 22G/W
Separate writing and
grammar classes

ESL 21
Developmental Reading

ESL 25
Academic Listening and
Speaking (optional)

College Level Classes

ENG 100
Expository Writing

ENG 102 (if required
for major)
College Reading Skills

SpCo 151 (if required
for major)
Introduction to Speech and
Communication

 

Option 2

ESL
(Credit)

ESL 20W
College Writing
Upper-Intermediate Level
3 credits

ESL 20G
College Grammar
Upper-Intermediate Level
3 credits

ESL 20R
Reading & Learning Skills
Upper-Intermediate Level
4 credits

ESL 22W
Introduction to Expository Writing
Advanced Level
3 credits

ESL 22G
Introduction to Expository Grammar
Advanced Level
3 credits

ESL 21
Developmental Reading
Advanced Level
4 credits

College Level Classes

ENG 100
Expository Writing

ENG 102 (if required
for major)
College Reading Skills

SpCo 151 (if required
for major)
Introduction to Speech and
Communication

*Students may also take ESL 25 (Academic Listening and Speaking Skills) when offered.

For any questions about ESL, please contact:  

Carrie B. Mospens
mospens@hawaii.edu
(808) 934-2588

or

Christine Quintana
cdamate@hawaii.edu
(808) 934-2720

For any questions about IEP, please contact:
Steven Clements
stevencc@hawaii.edu
(808) 934-2697