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English as a Second Language (ESL)

Come and study English as a Second Language in the United States. Even if you have lived in the USA, you may need to improve your English skills. The ESL classes at Hocking College can help you. We have taught students from various backgrounds and ages to improve their language skills in our classes. ESL classes have academic benefits, which include a better understanding of teachers, other students and the material in traditional classes; improving job prospects and work relationships; and, better life experiences as a result of stronger English skills.

The students who take ESL classes come from many countries and first languages. Since 1990, we have taught students from the following areas:

Argentina, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Siberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.


ESL classes offer several levels. After a student is tested, he or she can register for ESL classes. See the ESL Calendar for testing and other start dates. ESL courses are credit bearing. The ESL faculty will assess, evaluate and place students into one of five levels. If a student does not pass classes on a level, he or she will need to repeat it.

  • Students who test and place in Level I may not be able to complete the testing fully, or not be able to produce enough English for evaluation. Essentially, this level of student has an inability to communicate in English. This person's meaning may or may not be understandable. A student at this level is starting at the beginning of the language.
  • Level 2 is for someone who is continuing and developing the basic level. Someone at this level has some, but limited, ability to communicate, but without adequate control due to the holes in the person's English skills. This student has frequent errors, but might be communicative.
  • An Level 3 student communicates a message that can be followed most of the time; however, this person has a limited ability to use English appropriately, relevantly and in sufficient depth.
  • Students entering at the Level 4 level can organize information well enough for a message to be followed and understood with some strain for the listener/reader. This student still has difficulty distinguishing main ideas from details, and has some noticeable error intrusion, but is able to self-edit with help. At this level, students may be eligible to begin enrolling in one or two academic major classes.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Preparation Courses

Hocking College TOEFL Exam Preparation courses are optional courses designed especially for upper-intermediate and advanced level ESL students who wish to study at North American universities or colleges. A high TOEFL score is required of international students before they can be accepted at most North American universities and colleges.

The TOEFL exam preparation courses at Hocking College are intensive, and may range from four to 18 credit hours per term. They teach TOEFL exam test-taking strategies, while enhancing students' knowledge of English reading, speaking, listening and writing - the four fields tested on the TOEFL iBT Exam.

The Hocking College TOEFL Exam Preparation curriculum is the only one in the region offering students courses aimed at mastering the official, internationally acknowledged, TOEFL Exam.

The TOEFL Exam Preparation Courses help students to:

  • Enhance English language skills in reading, speaking, writing, and listening.
  • Master grammatical patterns and structures that regularly occur on the TOEFL.
  • Gain test-taking strategies for higher achievement on each section of the TOEFL.
  • Practice and develop a higher-level of English language receptive and production skills while under time-pressure.
  • Learn the TOEFL Exam format and scoring procedures in order to properly interpret their own test scores.

You may enroll in Hocking College TOEFL Preparation Courses after successfully scoring at the upper- intermediate level, or above, as assessed by the ESL faculty at Hocking College.

If you need to leave Hocking for a term or longer, when you return, you will be re-tested before you can register for classes. This way, if your level has changed, you will be in classes that best fit your level.

ESL Certificates: Participation, Completion and Excellence

Students who would like to receive an ESL Certificate of Participation must register for and complete 13 or more ESL credits in any particular term, and on any level. This certificate shows proof of attendance and work. It is not dependent on passing final grades for that term.

Students who would like to receive an ESL Certificate of Completion must be tested eligible to enroll in the Level 3 or higher classes. He or she must register for and complete all the classes on that level and pass each class with a 80 percent or higher. This certificate shows proof of attendance, work and a passing level of achievement.

Students who would like to receive an ESL Certificate of Excellence must be tested eligible to enroll in the Level 4 or higher classes. He or she must register for and complete all the classes on the levels and pass each class with a 85 percent or higher. This certificate shows proof of attendance, work and a strong level of achievement.

Hocking College
School of Arts, Business and Science
3301 Hocking Parkway
Nelsonville, OH 45764