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White Building,room 58
Phone: 919-536-7264
Fax: 919-536-7281

Center for the Global Learner
Durham Technical Community College
1637 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

Ms. Paula Wilder

Ms. Paula Wilder
Director/Instructor, EFL
White Building, room 59
919-536-7200 x4053

Academic English as a Foreign Language (EFL)

EFL students group meetingWhat are Academic EFL courses?

Many English language learners enter the community college and are required to take pre-curriculum courses because of their test scores. Academic EFL courses offer students a way to improve their skills in reading and writing in Standard Academic US English. These classes differ from ESL classes because in ESL classes the focus is on everyday social English with only a minimal focus on the academic expectations in reading and writing.

Academic EFL classes are taught at the college level, so all assignments are authentic college writing and reading assignments even at the lowest levels. Students are also given the chance to acclimate to the cultural expectations of the college environment.

In the past, EFL students were directed to take DRE classes because that was the only place for them. Research has shown that DRE classes are not the best option for EFL students and a pre-curriculum program designed especially for language learners is the better way to serve our students in order to provide a pathway to successful completion of their course of study. Therefore, from this point forward, EFL students should not be advised to take DRE classes when they test below curriculum level in reading and/or writing.

How are new students placed into EFL courses?

When students go to the testing center they are asked whether they speak US English as their first language and if they have graduated from a US high school. If students answer “No” to one or both of these questions, they are given the Accuplacer ESL test.

  • All EFL students meet with the Director of Academic EFL who evaluates their placement test scores.
  • In addition to the test scores, the director bases placement on an interview, and students may be asked for a writing sample in order to accurately determine skill level.
  • If students meet the skill level criteria, then they will be directed to take the NCDAP test in reading, writing, and math.
  • If students pass the NCDAP test, they will place into ENG 111.
  • If students do not pass the NCDAP test, then they would be placed into the appropriate EFL course(s) based on the interview and the test scores on NCDAP (typically Level 3 or Level 4 EFL).

Placement information for other courses for EFL students

  • Students who place into either Level 1 or 2 of EFL courses (EFL 071/072 or EFL 091/092) will not take the math placement test until they complete Level 2 of the EFL courses so that their developing academic English reading skills will not impede their math scores.
  • Students placing into Level 3 with previous math courses in the U.S. or college math courses in another country should take the math placement test before beginning their first semester.
  • Students placing into Level 4 should take the math placement test before their first semester.
  • Students who place into Levels 1 or 2 as a general rule should take EFL 055 or EFL 064 and no other college courses, including ACA 122.
  • Students who place into Levels 3 or 4 may be able to take other courses that do not require the reading/writing prerequisite (i.e. CIS 110 or ACA 122), but their speaking and listening skills should be taken into account before recommending these courses.

What do existing students need to do?

  • Students already enrolled in EFL courses should continue their progression through the program and will be advised by the EFL director as to what classes to take next.
  • Students will move to their regular advisors once they have completed their EFL courses.
  • Students who are already in their program of study courses are still eligible to take a reading, writing, or listening/speaking class if they want to improve their English academic skills in any of these areas.
  • Health Technology majors can meet their English language requirement with no further testing by successfully completing:
    • EFL 055 English for Academic Purposes (currently offered), OR
    • EFL 064 Listening/Speaking IV (Fall 2015).
  • Current EFL students enrolled in DRE courses are encouraged (but not required) to move to EFL courses.

What other courses should EFL students take?

Students who are currently Levels 1 or 2, should concentrate on their language learning and wait to take any other courses besides EFL until their academic skills are higher, including math courses.
As students progress in their language skills, they will be individually advised by the EFL director to take other courses, such as ACA 122, CIS 110, DMS/MAT, etc.

How will EFL students move into their program of study courses?

Upon successful completion (80 percent or higher) of EFL 074 Reading IV and EFL 094 Composition IV, students will be awarded RED/ENG 090 credit and be eligible to register for any of their program of study courses requiring the reading and writing prerequisites.

What courses will be offered at Durham Tech beginning Fall 2015?


These courses provide students with opportunities to improve their listening and speaking ability in US English with a focus on formal presentations, class discussions, and academic pronunciation and vocabulary.

EFL 055 – English for Academic Purposes – 3 credit hours
EFL 064 – Listening/Speaking Level IV - 5 credit hours

EFL studentReading and Writing

These five-credit hour courses are taught at the low-intermediate and advanced levels. They equip students with the academic skills needed for success in their program of study courses. Level IV courses meet the required prerequisites in reading and writing for any curriculum course.

EFL 071 – Level I Reading
EFL 091 – Level I Composition
EFL 072 – Level II Reading
EFL 092 – Level II Composition
EFL 073 – Level III Reading
EFL 093 – Level III Composition
EFL 074 – Level IV Reading
EFL 094 – Level IV Composition

Additional Research/Composition Study

This focus of this course is academic research, organization, citation, and advanced writing skills with a concentration in academic transitions, vocabulary, and syntax. Students can take this course alongside ENG 111 or any other writing-intensive course. This course would also be helpful for students who have failed a curriculum course due to language/writing issues.

EFL 095 – Composition V – 5 credit hours


Durham Technical Community College
1637 East Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703

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