quinebaug valley community college

English As A Second Language

Laughing latin man looking at camera in the city


The ESL program exists to teach English language skills to speakers of other languages who need to improve their command of English in order to study at the college level in an English-Speaking environment.  The program also exists to improve the English language skills of learners who want to improve their employment opportunities.

The discipline satisfies unique goals for the institution because it is the only program specifically designed for limited-English-proficient learners and which provides them with access to programs which lead to “transfer, employment, and lifelong learning, and learner success.”  The ESL program provides learners with the language skills needed to navigate and thrive in the mainstream academic courses where English is the medium of instruction.  As such, it acts as a source of students for the rest of the College.

Program Details

This program runs at QVCC’s satellite location at the Windham Technical High School in Willimantic.  Willimantic is the home of practically all of the Spanish-speaking residents in the College’s service area, many of whom are in need of ESL instruction.  In addition, there are other populations associated with the two large university communities and in the surrounding areas who also rely on QVCC for ESL instruction.

Learning English is an important step to reaching academic, professional, and personal goals.

The flexible comprehensive program offers five levels of instruction in Grammar, and Reading and Writing.  Classes use an integrated approach which includes grammar, reading, writing, and oral communication skills.  As students gain proficiency, they may choose to take additional classes at QVCC such as, Math, Public Speaking, American Sign Language, and others.

High intermediate and advanced ESL courses can be counted as foreign language/humanities electives toward graduation.


Elkin Espitia-Loaiza
Professor of Spanish and ESL
Foreign Language, ESL, and ASL

Career Prospects

Improved English language skills will enhance all aspects of daily life, including:

• Communicating with school officials and teachers
• Communicating with employers
• Advancing in a career
• Meeting daily communication needs
• Strengthening English language skills
• Becoming employed
• Becoming more successful in a job
• Seeking a job promotion
• Getting involved in their children’s education
• Interacting in the community
• Practicing English with students from other countries
• Developing good study skills
• Pursuing a college or university degree