English As A Second Language (ESL)

Parkland College offers ESL classes in three programs to meet the needs of our diverse population. Neither TOEFL nor IELTS scores are required for students who wish to take ESL classes. Students will take the CaMLA ESL Assessment for placement in ESL courses.

Pre-College ESL

Students can enroll part time or full time, taking only one class or up to 20 contact hours a week. Our beginning and advanced classes focus on preparing students for college-level academic courses. Students take instruction in grammar and writing, listening and speaking, and reading and vocabulary. They may also take elective courses such as pronunciation, TOEFL preparation, and conversation practice. 

New F-1 students who plan on taking pre-college ESL only should arrange to be on campus for the first day of the 16-week semester. Students arriving after this deadline may be able to enroll in select 13-week late-start elective classes if available. Note: Core ESL classes (reading/vocabulary, listening/speaking, and grammar/writing) are not offered in the 13-week course lineup.

For the full-time international student, Parkland’s ESL program:

  • meets the  F-1 student requirements for full-time English preparation
  • does not require a TOEFL or IELTS score for admission

Parkland College also allows part-time immigrants and residents to take one or two classes per semester. Our pre-college ESL classes are small, averaging 12–14 students, and contain students from a variety of countries. Classes begin three times a year, in June, August, and January. Call International Admissions at 217/351-2890 for more information.

College ESL

Students who successfully complete Parkland's Pre-College ESL Program and Writing Sample can move into College ESL. Students who have a TOEFL score of 61 or higher, have an IELTS score of band 6.0 or higher, or have passed the ESL CaMLA test (given on campus) with a minimum score of 69 are also ready for College ESL after successfully completing the Writing Sample test. College ESL consists of special sections of the composition courses ENG 099, ENG 101, and ENG 102 that include supplementary support for non-native speakers of English. The special ESL sections of both ENG 101 and ENG 102 are college-level classes which count toward degree requirements. All universities in Illinois and many universities outside of Illinois accept ENG 101 and ENG 102 as transfer courses.

The Parkland Learning Advantage

In addition to small class sizes and individualized instructor attention, students will have extensive free access to computer labs and can learn academic computer skills at each level. Electives are also available in TOEFL preparation, pronunciation, and conversation practice. Find the elective courses by the ESL prefix in the Class Listings. For information about the Intensive ESL program, contact the Humanities department: 217/351-2582. 

Basic Literacy (Adult Education)

Parkland offers FREE classes in basic communication skills for everyday life to all refugees and immigrants (not students studying on a visa) with limited English proficiency. These are beginning to intermediate level classes. Classes are scheduled at various times and locations throughout the Parkland College district. Call Adult Education at 217/351-2580 for information.