Intensive English (ESL)

Intensive English (ESL)

About the Program

The ESOL/Intensive English Program offers comprehensive ESL instruction for non-native speakers who are planning to continue on to earn a college degree or certificate, to upgrade their workplace English skills, or to integrate more easily in the American society.

Specifically, the Intensive English Program (IEP) is well-suited for those, such as international students, who need or desire full-time English instruction in reading, writing, grammar and conversation

AWARD TYPES: Courses Only

AREA OF STUDY: Liberal Arts & Humanities

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Program Information

About Academic English as a Second Language (ESOL)

ESOL courses (ESOL 0349-0370) attract students who have three main purposes:

  1. To acquire the English skills necessary to take college courses aiming at an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or graduate degree;
  2. To upgrade English skills for better performance in the workplace;
  3. To ease the transition into full participation in American society.

For these purposes, the ESOL/Intensive English Department offers co-requisite courses in reading, writing, grammar and conversation, for Advanced Intermediate and Advanced levels. In addition, the Department offers ESOL 0360, an Integrated Reading & Writing class, for students who have completed Advanced Composition (ESOL 0354), and ESOL 0370, an ESL support class for ENGL 1301, in accordance with HB 2223, a State Law.

HCC’s ESL program is very diverse, with students from over 80 countries and speaking over 30 native languages. With so many cultures and languages, the ESOL/Intensive English Program cultivates an extraordinarily rich classroom atmosphere.

Except for the ESOL 0370 support class, all other ESOL courses offer 3 credit hours with 5 contact hours per week, in the regular term session.

Academic ESL/Intensive English classes take place during fall, spring, and summer semesters:

  • Fall semester - August to December
  • Spring semester - January to May
  • Summer semester - June to August

Students who test in at lower levels (beginners and intermediate) will need to take ESL classes in the Continuing Education Program 


Mission Statement

The mission of Houston Community College's Intensive English Program is to provide an effective learning community in which non-native speakers of English can acquire the language, critical thinking, and cross-cultural skills that will enable them to succeed in their academic, workplace, and personal goals.


Intensive English ESL Program Statement of Purpose

The Intensive English ESL program is a program of concentrated study of English which seeks to serve the needs of students who are planning to continue their education. The program aims to serve not only international students who hod student visas, but also that vast majority of non-native English speakers who are permanent residents or citizens. The program is not simply a collection of individual courses; rather it seeks to enhance the students' language learning experience by creating a learning community of students and teachers who spend a substantial portion of their academic time together. At the end of their study in Intensive English, students are qualified to take academic classes, as warranted by basic skills placement testing.


Programs Goals

The goals of the Intensive English ESL Program are as follows:

  • To provide our students with the highest quality of instruction
  • To prepare our students for effective communication in English in both oral and literate skills in academic, workplace, and social settings
  • To use advanced technology as a component of effective English instruction
  • To create a student-centered learning environment
  • To use teaching methods which empower students to become the primary agents of their learning, to help them identify their individual learning strengths and needs, and to give them access to the tools and resources for meeting those needs
  • To assist our students in setting learning goals and in managing time in a way that makes language development possible
  • To prepare our students to function effectively in a multi-cultural society
  • To facilitate our students’ adjustment to the academic policies and procedures in U.S. higher education, including at Houston Community College.


What Is The Difference Between “ESL” And The “Intensive English Program"?

  • The name of our department is “ESOL / Intensive English Program”
  • ESL (English as a Second Language) is the subject that we teach in the department;
  • The Intensive English Program is the program through which we offer 8 linked courses in reading, writing, grammar and conversation, in two levels (Advanced-Intermediate & Advanced); it is aimed at students who need to or wish to study ESL full-time



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English as a Second Language

Richard Rice, Chair

Kevin Clement, Associate Chair

Jill Lynch, Associate Chair

Susie Guerrero, Administrative Assistant

Hours of Operation: Mon.-Fri. 8am-5pm