WCC Offers English as a Second Language Classes to Students

by Danny Maher


Gateway Center welcomes students in many languages. (Photo: Amanda M. Gordon)

The English Language Institute at WCC offers classes to over 5,000 students who are not primarily English-speaking. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are typically based in the Gateway Center at the Valhalla Campus. Classes range from beginner to advanced levels, so all are welcome to learn once they have taken a placement test.

Among regular English Language classes are specialized interest classes for students to take advantage of. “Accent on Fluency” provides additional speaking and listening practices to improve clarity of speech and further immersion in the language. “Business English for Internationals” develops skills in relation to business studies and communication.

ESL courses can be helpful for those who have uprooted their lives and moved to Westchester and may be in need of instruction in communication. Although children and teenagers may be able to enroll in ESL classes at their local schools, the same opportunity is not available for those who are older.

Anybody can enroll in ESL classes at WCC, regardless of age. By providing people with access to develop their skills in understanding the English language, they are able to capitalize on the opportunities offered to them that can further their knowledge and status.

WCC provides a course named “Citizenship Exam Preparation.” By learning English through these classes at the English Language Institute, students are able to change their quality of life and even pursue their desired career.

“I currently take ‘Business Organization and Management’ and ‘Speech Communication’ at WCC,” said Samuel Baptista, a 19-year-old ESL student. “They are really good at teaching us English and preparing us for our futures.”

“I have three ESL classes, 5 days a week—I have grammar, listening, and speaking,” said Luiza Barufi, a 28-year-old ESL student. “I like ESL and I love these courses. I think the teachers are very prepared for class and I am learning a lot. Three months ago, I was not speaking English. I love communicating, and I love discourse.”

In just three months, a student is able to develop enough skills in English to be able to have a full-fledged conversation.

“I took the first ESL class and then skipped straight into English 101,” said Darlene Martinez, a 22-year-old ESL student. “[ESL] was very helpful, since in high school I was not really focused a lot on learning English. Being able to skip into English 101 helped me with writing research papers and other assignments.”

Students at WCC have a variety of opportunities at their fingertips that may go overlooked, but those who do utilize them reap major benefits. If one has an interest in learning a new language, consider the many classes offered in the Gateway Center.

For the upcoming Spring 2018 semester, students may only register for classes either over the phone at 914-606-6656, or in person at the English Language Institute Office in Room 243 of the Gateway Center.

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