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College of Marin English as a Second Language Noncredit FAQsF
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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I know my level?

  • Before you register for classes, you will take a placement test.

How long does the test take?

  • The noncredit orientation, testing and registration process takes about 2.5 hours

What will I do?

  • You will have a short orientation to the noncredit program.
  • You will do a short written pre-test.
  • You will do a 45 minute grammar/reading test.
  • You will fill out a registration form for classes.

What do I need to bring to the test?

  • Make sure you have your correct address (including apartment number) and your
    phone number.

Will I be on a waiting list?

The noncredit ESL classes are open entry – open exit. Because students often
change their schedules and can’t continue classes, we keep waiting lists for each
class. If you are on a waiting list, we will send you a letter telling you your level,
the class you are waiting for and your “number” on the waiting list.

How long will I be on a waiting list?

It depends on which class you choose. However, as soon as space is available, we
will call you or send you a letter telling you to come to class. This letter will have
a map on the back.

What if my address changes?

Please come into the office or call and let us know your new address or phone
number. If you forget, you will not receive letters or applications from us.

What if my schedule changes?

Please call or come to the ESL Office in the Austin Science Center, Room 137. We will transfer you
to a different section of the same level if there is room in the class. If there isn’t
room, we may have to put you on the waiting list for that class.

Can I come back after a long absence?

If you are absent for two weeks or more and do not call the office, your teacher
will drop you from class. If you plan to be gone for a long time, please ask your teacher.

What if I don’t understand the teacher?

  • Please raise your hand and say:
    • "I don’t understand.”
    • "Could you repeat that?”
    • "Could you speak more slowly?”
    • "Could you write that on the board?”

What if the class is too easy or too difficult?

You can talk to the teacher. If it feels too difficult, your teacher can transfer you
to the level below. If it seems too easy, your teacher will decide if you are ready
to move up and if there is room in the next class.

Is there homework?

  • Please do your homework.
  • If you do not have homework, please study what you have done in class! The
    more you practice, the faster you’ll progress.

How do I move up to the next level?

Towards the end of each semester your teacher will give you a promotion test to
see if you are ready to move on to the next level. The teacher will use this score
together with what she knows from seeing you in class to determine if you are

Can I miss my class?

If you are sick or need to work or need to take care of your children, please call your teacher and leave a message for .

Please say:

  • My name is _____________.
  • I am in level ____________
    • in the morning.
    • in the evening.
    • on Saturday.
  • My teacher’s name is ___________.
    • I am sick.
    • I have to work.
    • I have to take care of my child.
    • Other reason ____________
  • I will come back
    • tomorrow.
    • next week.
    • on ____________ (day/date).

Can I be late?

  • Please come on time if you can.
  • If you are late, please come in quietly.
  • You do NOT need to ask permission to come in.
  • Please do NOT greet all of the other students.
  • Please DO turn off your cell phone!

Can I leave early?
Please tell the teacher at the beginning of class. Please leave quietly.

If you miss more than four classes in a row without calling, you will be dropped from
the class. If you want to come back to class, you must ask in the office. If there is a
waiting list, you will be put at the end of the list.


  • Come on time if you can.
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Show respect to the teacher and to all other students.
  • Listen to the teacher and to any student who is asking or answering a question.
  • Leave the room clean and the chairs in order.
  • Bring your books, paper and pencils!



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English as a Second Language webpage
Technical Contact: Sara McKinnnon, Noncredit ESL Coordinator, ext. 7924
Content Responsible: Barbara Bonander, Chair of College Skills Department, ext. 7351