Bunker Hill Community College

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ESL Courses at BHCC

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Department offers three levels of courses in Basic ESL and three levels of Academic ESL (A1, A2, and A3)

The Department’s Philosophy is, “Content courses as soon as possible and language support as long as necessary.” This goal is realized in part by college content courses that are integrated with ESL courses in academic levels II and III.

Basic ESL (BESL) courses help students improve their general English language skills for work, personal development, or academic coursework preparation. Each level has one course in listening and speaking and one course in reading and writing. The courses meet three hours each week for one semester or four and a half hours each week in the summer term. Students should take both courses in a level to advance to the next level. BESL classes are non-credit and offered as part of Bunker Hill’s Community Education program.  Visit the Basic English as a Second Language page for more information.

Academic ESL levels include classes in reading, writing, note-taking, speaking, grammar, and pronunciation to prepare students for academic content courses.  Students who qualify may apply for financial aid. Courses carry institutional credits. (See ESL Courses Overview

Our program is convenient. Classes meet two and a half hours weekly for one semester (15 weeks) or four and a half hours each week in the summer term (nine weeks). Classes meet in the morning, afternoon, evening, and on the weekend. We offer classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Our program has flexible scheduling. Students may enroll in one or more courses per semester. We have stand-alone courses, paired and cluster courses, theme-based courses, and courses that are integrated with college content courses. 

The integrated courses, also called Learning Communities, allow advanced-level students to take a college class while completing the ESL program.  We currently offer these integrated courses in psychology, sociology, history, and computers. The ESL professors and the content course professors work together to provide a supportive learning environment to promote student success.

Students who are interested in taking an ESL class must take the ESL placement test. The test is given on the Charlestown Campus, Room B118, the Assessment Center. Please see the Support Services Handbook or call 617-228-2468. for further information about Assessment Center hours and testing policies. 

Students who place into the highest level of Academic ESL may enroll in the ESL Summer Intensive Cluster. This cluster allows students to complete all of the courses in the level in an intensive, supportive environment in eight weeks during the summer term.

Please view ESL Courses Overview. 

View the sample syllabus for each course, which includes a course description and list of objectives (outcomes).

ESL 074 Listening Comprehension and Discussions
ESL 075 Grammar Structures and Editing
ESL 078 Academic Reading I
ESL 079 Academic Writing I
ESL 085 Intermediate Grammar and Editing (Optional)
ESL 086 Academic Listening and Note-Taking
ESL 087 Contemporary Issues and Conversations
ESL 088 Academic Reading II
ESL 089 Academic Writing II
ESL 095 Advanced Grammar and Editing (Optional)
ESL 096 Lecture Comprehension and Academic Vocabulary
ESL 097 Academic Discussions and Presentations
ESL 098 Academic Reading III
ESL 099 Academic Writing III


View ESL Courses from the College Catalog