The ESL Programs at HCC

The HCC ESL Programs

The ESL Program at Houston Community College is incredibly diverse demonstrated by the inclusion of students from over 80 countries who speak over 30 native languages. In addition to teaching students English in our award winning ELS Programs, our programs focus on integrating students into U.S. culture through the inclusion of local community field trips, campus celebrations of American holidays and a frequent offering of American culture guest speakers at various campus sites.

Our student population consists primarily of:

  • Students who have finished high school and completed classes in basic English in their native country.
  • Students who have completed high school in the United States but want a better foundation in English in order to succeed in their college-level courses.
  • Students who have completed the four levels in the Intensive English Program, but are not quite ready for college-level coursework.

HCC CE English Language Skills Programs

Our Continuing Education (CE) English Language Skills (ELS) Program at HCC prepares students for their current job or a future college career by giving them the English language skills necessary for their success.

There are two pathways for English language learners in this program: a part-time ELS Program and the CE Intensive English Program. Each program follows successful completion from one level to another that leads to Workforce Training or Academic ESOL Intensive English.

The CE Intensive Program consists of three levels which are appropriate for International students with F1 Visas and who test into lower levels of ESL

  • Introductory Level – which consists of basic reading, writing, and grammar.
  • Level 1 and Level 2 – which consists of the progressive learning of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar.


Learn more about the HCC CE English Language Skills Programs.


HCC Intensive English Program & ESOL 0307/ENG 1301

The HCC Intensive English Program is appropriate for:

  • Students with F1 visas
  • US residents, and US citizens, who want to improve their English Language skills before studying in academic areas and want to communicate more effectively with English speakers.

The program has two levels.  Each level consists of 20 contact hours a week for 16 weeks a semester and includes courses of reading, writing, conversation, and grammar.

Level 3 – Advanced Intermediate English

Level 4 – Advanced English

Co-Requisite and ESOL 0370/ENG 1301
Students who place into ESOL 0370 will take ENGL 1301 concurrently. The ESOL 0370 course is a required support course with the same course learning outcomes as the ENGL 1301 course and is designed to assist students in their success in ENGL 1301. These courses are also offered in a 16-week format.


Learn more about the ESL/Intensive English Department.


HCC Adult Education and Literacy Program (AEL)

In the Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Programs, English as a Second Language (ESL) class, students are taught reading, listening, speaking, and writing at Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. There are two kinds of AEL classes offered:

  • ESL classes designed to help English language learners to improve fluency and learn English.
  • ABE and High School Equivalency (HSE) classes designed to improve basic skills and prepare students for the HSE examinations (GED, HiSET, or TASC), develop job readiness skills and prepare for college or workforce training. These classes include both ESL students and native speakers of English.


Students taking AEL classes can get extra practice outside of class by using web-based distance learning (DL) software. The DL software can help students improve their English language skills (ESL), or prepare for the high school equivalency (HSE) exam.

Workplace Literacy Program
Workplace Literacy (WPL) programs are generally offered at an employer's worksite, exclusively for a specific employer's workers.

The curriculum for Workplace Literacy projects is customized and based on authentic print and other media that are used by workers for their day-to-day health, safety, and environmental work activities.

In this program, English as a Second Language (ESL) options are available. 

Accelerate Texas (ATX)
Accelerate Texas combines career skill training with contextualized basic skills designed to prepare adult learners for specific types of employment. These programs can be designed to benefit English as a Second Language (ESL) adult learners.


Learn more about the HCC Adult Education and Literacy Program (AEL)