Academic English as a Second Language (AESL)
The Academic English as a Second Language (AESL) course of study at Holyoke Community College responds to the needs of the linguistically diverse population of the Pioneer Valley. The overall goal of the AESL program is for English learners to understand, speak, read, and write English with sufficient fluency to succeed in their chosen fields of study and careers.
The AESL program offers four levels of academic ESL for students who are working toward an associates degree or certificate at HCC. Courses are offered in English reading and writing, pronunciation, grammar, speaking, and listening. AESL credits may be used as elective credit for graduation in some programs of study.
Inclusive Learning Communities (LCs) combining ENG 095: Pre-College English II, ENG 101: College Composition I (required), and ESL 151: Reading & Writing V are offered for selected advanced students.
HCC offers a comprehensive AESL curriculum in a supportive environment. Free tutoring services are available with or without appointment. Supplemental instruction is provided in reading and writing classes.
HCC is committed to respecting individual cultural and linguistic diversity, and to providing equal access and opportunity to all prospective students.
Please note: This is an academic, credit-bearing ESL curriculum and is not appropriate for basic literacy. Students who want more information about our non-credit course offerings may call 413.552.2990 for more information.
- Apply to HCC
- Apply for financial aid (if applicable)
- Make an appointment for an English assessment. Visit the AESL Support Service office in DON 203 or contact Gladys Montero at 413.552.2553.
- Come for the placement assessment by appointment
- Part one: AESL Placement Test
- Part two: Short oral interview and writing sample (following this, you will receive your class schedule)
- Attend New Student Orientation for AESL
- Start classes!
Meet with your academic advisor whenever you have a question, or to choose classes for the upcoming semester.
Each level of AESL offers classes in reading and writing, speaking and listening, and grammar.
View all Academic English as a Second Language courses in the College Catalog.
- ESL 108: Speaking & Listening II
- ESL 110: Reading & Writing II
- ESL 130: Speaking & Listening III
- ESL 131: Reading & Writing III
- ESL 140: Speaking & Listening IV
- ESL 141: Reading & Writing IV
- ESL 145: Intensive Speaking & Listening IV & V
- ESL 150: Speaking & Listening V
- ESL 151: Reading & Writing V
- ESL 152: Topics in ESL
- ESL 168: Grammar II
- ESL 169: Grammar III
- ESL 170: Grammar IV
- ESL 171: Grammar V
- ESL 180: Pronunciation
After successfully completing Reading & Writing V, your teacher will recommend that you take one of the following English courses:
- ENG 085: Reading & Writing
- ENG 095: Writing With Research Skill
- ENG 101: Freshman Composition (required by all students enrolled in a degree program)
In 1991, the Faculty Senate of Holyoke Community College voted to grant academic credit for all ESL classes. The motion accepted on that day reads as follows: "Students should be able to earn a maximum of 15 credits of liberal arts elective credits for ESL classes taken at any level (beginning through advanced). The actual amount of credit that a student could apply toward a degree would depend on the number of liberal arts or general electives that the student's degree program accepts."
WHEN I CAME HERE, MY ENGLISH WAS ZERO. I WAS UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH ANYONE IN ENGLISH. THANKS TO HOLYOKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE'S ESL PROGRAM, I AM THE WOMAN THAT I AM TODAY."