Learn to speak English from the best

Free Adult Education Program at Black Hawk College offers high quality teaching

If you know some people from other countries, you can help them to study English at no cost if they qualify. The Adult Education Program at Black Hawk College helps more than 800 non-English speaking residents in a year’s time.

The Academic ESL program at Black Hawk College offers developmental classes to non-native speakers who need to become proficient in English to start regular college programs. The difference between this and the Adult Education ESL Program, is that the second provides general English skills from basic to intermediate levels. Its’ focus is preparing students to function in American society, to get enough language for a job, or acquire language for further training.

“People who don’t know any English can start the program. People who know a few words in English can start the program. We have 10 different class levels and students need to enroll and take a brief test to determine their class level,” said Ann O’Leary, ESL Coordinator.

Now you could be thinking: “Ok, my friend or neighbor needs English, but doesn’t have money to pay for classes.” It is important to know that BHC applies for Federal and State grant monies along with College support to fund this program. “All classes and materials are at no cost, but it is necessary that the student be a resident of the Black Hawk College District in Illinois,” informed O’Leary.

While I was visiting the Adult Education ESL Program locations in the Rock Island and East Moline Centers, I was impressed how many students of different ages that the program benefits. Some people were from Africa, some people were from Latin America, and others were from Asia. I could see the enthusiasm to have this opportunity in their eyes.

“Most students are 18 years old and older and not in public school. We accept students with many ages. After testing, the students may be placed into existing classes if there is an opening,” said Glenda Nicke, the Dean.

Today there are approximately 80 students waiting to be placed into their class. The good news is that every three weeks there is an opportunity for students to start class if there are new openings at their level.

The program has different locations, even some church locations. The first contact is the Outreach Center or the Adult Learning Center. Spread the word – help those who need English help.

More information:
Adult Learning Center:
4610 BlackHawk Commons Dr.
Rock Island, IL 61201
Phone: (309) 796-5562

Outreach Center:
301 Avenue of the Cities
East Moline, IL 61244-4023
Phone: (309) 796-8245
By Ale Toniazzo