ESL Testing and Placement - Black Hawk College

ESL Testing and Placement

All ESL students need to take a language placement test. The score that you receive on this test will help us figure out which classes would be most helpful for you in reaching your goals. According to your scores you may be placed in Foundations level, Intermediate level or Advanced level. You may be placed in the Adult Education ESL program if your scores do not show you are ready to be at the academic level yet. If your scores show that you do not need ESL, you will get a waiver from the program.

Total testing time:  < 2 hours

  • 25 minutes – Listening
  • 1 hour – Grammar, vocabulary, reading
  • 30 minutes – Writing

Placement and Course Selection

After you take the placement test, you will meet with the ESL Coordinator. You will discuss your scores and your personal background and pick your courses. You will either be placed in the Intermediate (Level 6) or Advanced (Level 7) class.

Classes include face-to-face instruction and online instruction. You meet your teacher in-person two days a week for 100 minutes each class, and also attend some classes online. You work with your teacher and classmates in groups and pairs. Activities include presentations, discussions, debates and research. You can also participate in conversation groups and projects with American students. Classrooms have internet, Smartboards and digital video/audio tools. The ESL computer lab has programs that help you with listening, pronunciation, reading and writing. Tutors also are available to help you.

All F-1 student visa holders must be full-time students. Citizens or permanent residents can be either full-time or part-time students.

ESL 051 – Foundations I
ESL 053 – Foundations II

* Sections marked with A are the online classes.
ESL 062/062A Intermediate Grammar
ESL 064/064A Intermediate Reading
ESL 066/ 066A Intermediate Writing
ESL 067 Intermediate Listening/Speaking
ESL 070/070A Intermediate Communication Skills

* Sections marked with A are the online classes.
* Students receive college credit for the COMM 100/105.

ESL 072/072A/COMM105 Advanced Grammar
ESL 074/074A Advanced Reading
ESL 076/076A Advanced Writing
ESL 078/078A/COMM 100 Advanced Communication Skills

What’s Next?

Our faculty and staff help you get off to a good start by meeting with you before the semester begins. We give you a tour of the campus, help you find your classroom and books, and help you learn how to use myBlackHawk, your personal internet access to tools to help you to be a successful student.

We celebrate when you finish the Academic ESL Program. It is a wonderful moment to enjoy all of your hard work and to celebrate your achievement. You receive your certificate of proficiency to recognize your success!