El Paso Community College is home to many programs.
Photo by Vladimir Avina
The Americana Village houses the Language Institute which provides assistance to students wanting to learn another language.
One of the programs the college has to offer is the Language Institute, which is housed in the Americana Village at EPCC Valle Verde.
The Language Institute has different programs opened to students.
“We have English as a second language classes which is our intensive English program. We have conversation ESL, we have French classes and we have Spanish classes. So we have four different programs,” said Lucy Flores, program manager.
The program with the most students is the Intensive English Program which teaches students from all around the world.
The program has an Intensive English Program-Fast Track, which is designed for students to complete six levels in one year.
“The program has six levels. We are in fast track, which is different from intensive or the regular program. Fast track includes grammar, listening, speaking and writing [grammar] in seven weeks.” said Fernando Maellanes, student at EPCC.
The schedule for this program is Monday to Friday from 8a.m. to 2:30p.m.
It also has the Intensive English Program which is mainly used my students who have very little time because of work or other commitments.
This program has twelve levels with three courses with an emphasis on reading, writing, listening and grammar.
Two schedules are available for this program: Monday to Friday from 9a.m. to noon and Saturday from 8a.m. to 3:15p.m.
“The intensive English program is for students who do not speak English and they want to learn English. For that we have the different schedules,” said Flores.
Before a student can enter the program they must have an I-20 form and take a placement exam.
“We need to have an I-20. It show which school you’re studying at specifically. It also has your information like your passport number and your name,” said Hussain, student at EPCC.
However, if a student transfers schools they need to complete another I-20 form.
“Every six months we need to make a new I-20. Like last month I just did a new one.” Hussain. After students have filled out their I-20 form they need to take a placement test.
“For first time students they have to take a placement exam and it shows the level that they are more suitable for. It can be from one to six and the only need to take that level and above. They don’t have to start from level one unless they want to,” said Flores.
Some students have had to transfer from University of Texas in El Paso to be able to learn English in a timely matter.
“I used to study at UTEP and I had a scholarship. They told me that I had one year and six months to finish the English program then to go to the University as undefined.
If I don’t finish it they would pull the scholarship from me. Each level at UTEP I like four months so it’s going to be a long time. One of my friends told me the program here would be better for me,” said Hussain.
Another reason for students to transfer is the tuition differences.
The program at EPCC is cheaper than the program at UTEP.
After students complete all six levels they can go on to complete their education.
“They receive a certificate of completion and that certificate is valid at EPCC should they want to continue their studies in the credit side of the college. It also meets the requirement of the language proficiency.” said Flores.
Some students though, finish the program before they complete all six levels.
“It is difficult to track how many students complete because not everybody is a level one. So if they start with a level one then we can track to see if they have completed all the levels,” said Flores.
For more information visit the Language Institute at the Valle Verde Campus-Americana Village, room MV 6.
You can also visit them on the web at
www.EPCC.edu/alp or call 915-831-2154.