ESL Department Mission Statement

  1. College content courses as soon as possible, with language support as long as necessary.  This is realized by
    • Initial assessment in all language skill areas and placement
    • Faculty recommendations once instruction begins
    • Integrated courses
    • The Multi-Media Multi-Purpose Language Lab.
  2. Prepare ESL students for academic content courses by teaching:
    • Academic writing skills at the sentence, paragraph, and essay levels so that ESL students can cite sources and answer essay questions;
    • Academic reading skills including critical and analytical thinking skills;
    • Academic note-taking skills; and
    • Academic speaking skills so that ESL students feel comfortable speaking in small groups with native speakers or in front of a classroom full of native speakers
    • English grammar to build a strong foundation for improved performance of the 4 core skills
    • Pronunciation for students to improve their fluency and clarity
  3. Deliver a flexible curriculum to meet the diverse needs of the ESL students. See Department Vision Statement.
  4. Meet as many of the ESL student objectives for attending BHCC as possible. Some of their objectives include:
    • Finding a job
    • Being able to become more active participants in society
    • Improving general English skills
    • Finding a better job
    • Learning academic English 
    • Completing BHCC certificate programs
    • Transferring from BHCC without graduating from BHCC
    • Graduating from BHCC
    • Graduating from BHCC and then transferring


ESL Department’s Vision for the Multi-Media Language Lab

Second language acquisition theory indicates that non-native speakers and writers of English need from 5 – 7 years to learn academic English. Therefore, with a 3 – level academic ESL Department, most, if not all, ESL students will need more time on task to assimilate an academic English curriculum. ESL students can learn academic English more effectively and quickly with structured time on task in the Lab with the following strategies.

  1. ESL faculty members can refer individual students to the Lab and calculate the assignments completed in the Lab into the final grade.  ESL faculty will not have to know how the programs in the Lab work or teach their students how to use these programs; all they have to do is refer and identify skills to be improved (SEE STAFFING). Assignments may include the following: Writing, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking, Grammar, Vocabulary, Pronunciation, and Note-taking.
  2. An individual ESL faculty member can assign specific assignments/modules for all students in an ESL course to be completed in the Lab as part of a course requirement.
  3. ESL students who receive the an In-Progress (IP) grade in any BESL or ESL course may complete required work in the Lab under the supervision of tutors and a faculty member (see staffing).
  4. BESL and ESL students who are identified with literacy needs will work in the Lab, under the supervision of tutors and a faculty member.
  5. If ESL students exit ESL courses and struggle with college content courses, they may work in the Lab (with self-referral or referral from faculty) for continued language support.
  6. ESL faculty members will be able to use the Lab for instruction.

Lab Staffing

  • Full-time coordinator
  • Two full-time tutors: One ESL/Bilingual: The other with TOEFL expertise
  • Part-time tutors
  • Work-study students
  • Two ESL faculty members for fall and Spring Semesters and one for Summer Semester with course releases to work in the Lab

For more information, visit the Language Lab Home Page