Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to take a placement test before I take ESL courses?
In most cases, yes. All students except absolute beginners (Level 1) need to take a placement test. Please click on our Placement Testing link for more information.

When can I start taking courses for my major?
We recommend ESL students be in Level III or IV before starting their major courses. Students can usually take Math courses along with ESL courses without trouble. Some other electives can be taken along with ESL courses as well. Other courses have a prerequisite of ENGL 101.

We want you to be able to take your major courses as soon as possible, but please remember that it's important to have the reading comprehension and writing skills to be successful in your major courses. It's also very important that you are ready to verbally communicate with your professors and classmates.

Do I have to take ALL of the ESL courses in each level?
Some students do, and some do not. We recommend speaking with an advisor to personalize your schedule to your needs.

Do I need to take the TOEFL test to study ESL at NCC?
No. NCC does not require the TOEFL test. Our courses can help prepare you to take the TOEFL if that if your intention.

I want to finish ESL as quickly as possible. What can I do?
Congratulations! It's great to be ambitious. However, please remember that research shows it can take 5-7 YEARS to truly learn English. We know students “just want to take their major classes”, but it's really important that you have the reading, writing, and communication skills to be successful in these classes. Taking ESL courses is an essential step to help build that foundation so that you CAN be successful in your major. You can always ask your professors for additional work, recommendations, or use the lab to practice with our language software to improve your skills more quickly. Another helpful tip is to practice speaking English as much as possible. Practice your reading skills by reading English language newspapers, magazines, and books. Work with a tutor to perfect your writing skills. We're here to help you.

How can I get Financial Aid?
Students taking 6 credits or more might be eligible for Financial Aid. The best way to start the process is to call Financial Aid at 610-861-5510 or click here

How much do classes cost?
Please see our Tuition and Fees.

How do I get into English 101?
Most ESL students find our Level IV Grammar and our Level IV Reading & Writing classes to be extremely important as a way to prepare for English 101. You'll learn the advanced grammar, reading comprehension, paragraph formation, and essay writing skills that are necessary to succeed in English 101. At the end of the Level IV classes, students will take the English Placement Test (EPT). Students must pass both the Reading and Writing sections of the EPT in order to be placed in ENGL101. Click on the links below for more information and helpful sample questions.

www.northampton.edu/student-resources/academic-advising/services-for-newre-admit-students/placement-testing.htm
www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/reading.pdf
www.act.org/compass/sample/pdf/writing.pdf

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