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English as a Second Language

The mission of the Grand Rapids Community College's Adult Education is to provide an adult education to individuals who lack English proficiency and/or a basic education to be able to succeed in post-secondary education, job education training, and/or the workforce.

The purpose of Adult Education's English as a Second Language (ESL) program is to equip English Language Learners (ELLs) with the language skills necessary to function comparably to their Native-English peers in real-life work, community, academic and social situations. This education will be provided in such a way that values each student’s home language and ensures that each student maintains a sense of pride in his/her native culture. It is our aim to involve all educators, family members, and our community in the education of our ELLs as we recognize helping them find the paths to success is all of our responsibility. The ESL program will serve as a support system for the ELL until he/she is able to achieve independent academic success.

ESL 1 students measure at the low beginning to high beginning reading and listening levels, according to the nationalized CASAS Life and Work Skills testing system required by the State of Michigan.

Students at this level will gain English language proficiency through the practice of authentic life skills tasks. Students will also develop as critical thinkers, ready for the demands of work, through the practice of decision making, reasoning, classifying, evaluating, and problem solving activities. By the end of this level, students should be ready to move to ESL 2.

ESL 2 students measure at the low intermediate to high intermediate reading and listening levels, according to the nationalized CASAS Life and Work Skills testing system required by the State of Michigan.

Students at this level will gain English language proficiency through the practice of authentic life skills tasks. Students will also develop as critical thinkers, ready for the demands of work, through the practice of decision making, reasoning, classifying, evaluating, and problem solving activities. By the end of this level, students should be ready to move to ESL 3.

ESL 3 students measure at the advanced reading and listening levels, according to the nationalized CASAS Life and Work Skills testing system required by the State of Michigan.

Students at this level will gain English language proficiency through the practice of authentic life skills tasks. Students will also develop as critical thinkers, ready for the demands of work, through the practice of decision making, reasoning, classifying, evaluating, and problem solving activities. Students at this level will also prepare to earn the National Work Readiness Certificate in the areas of Reading for Information, Locating Information, and Math. By the end of this level, students will have reached a score of 236 on the CASAS test and will be ready to transition to ESL classes on main campus, take GED classes, or move forward in the next step of their unique educational journey.