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Student Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about classes:

Questions about Student Registration:

Questions about classes:

What classes do you have?
If you already speak English, but want to improve your reading and writing, you will join our Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes. These are classes in basic reading and writing. Each class has just one student. Each student meets with their own tutor.

If you want to speak and understand English better, you will come to our English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. These are classes in speaking and listening to English, with some reading and writing. Each class has 5 - 10 students with a tutor.

All our classes are for basic learning. We do not have HSE (GED). When you are ready, we will help you with your next step through our Transition services.

We also sometimes have Special Classes that you can come to, as well as your regular class. Special classes are for things like computer skills, resume-writing, interview skills, citizenship, and other topics.

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How much do the classes cost?
Our classes are free.

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How long are the classes?
Every regular class session is 48 hours in total.

There are two schedules:

  • One lesson each week for 16 weeks. Each lesson is 3 hours.
    Total = 48 hours.

  • Two lessons each week, for 12 weeks. Each lesson is 2 hours.
    Total = 48 hours.

If you need another class when the first one is done, you can have a new class. Some students have many classes. That's OK! You can learn until you are ready for the next step.

Special Classes have a different schedule. We will tell you about the schedule when you register.

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Who can come to classes? Will you sign for my hours?
You can register for classes if:

  • You are over 18 years of age;
  • You have a Houston address and are not a visitor or a tourist;
  • You are not on probation for a violent crime.

Important: If you are on probation for a non-violent crime, you can register for classes but Literacy Advance will not sign hours for you.

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How long will I have to wait for a class?
Maybe you will not wait at all. At Student Registration, we will check your schedule. If we have a class that works with your schedule, we will tell you. 

If we do not have a class for you, you will be on our wait list. You could wait 2 - 4 months. 


If you can come to class at many times during the week, we might be able to find you a class more quickly.

Some times are very popular, and those times are very busy. If you can only come to class when we are busy, it will take us longer to find a class for you.

When you come to Student Registration, please tell us all the times you can come to class. This will help us find you a class faster.

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Can I practice while I wait for a class?

The computer lab at Literacy Advance is open to all students who have done Student Registration, even if you have not started class. There are some great programs on the computers. The programs can help you with listening, speaking, pronunciation, reading and more. If you don't know much about computers yet, we can help you.

All registered students can take Special Classes. These classes change regularly, so check often!

If you are waiting for an English class, you can come to the Waiting Class. This class helps you practice listening and speaking English. You don't need to call ahead or attend every class — just come when you can! When you are in a regular class, however, you cannot attend the Waiting Class any more, as it is only for students on the wait-list. We will give you the current schedule at student registration.

If you are waiting for a reading class, you can come to the Reading Practice Group. This class helps you practice reading together with other students. 

There are also ways you can practice at home. Click here for some ideas and links.

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Can I come to more than one class?
You can be in one (1) regular English  OR reading class. You can have more classes when the first class is finished, but you cannot have more than one class at the same time.

We sometimes have Special Classes that you can come to at the same time as your regular class. Click here for information about Special Classes.

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Can I bring my friend, or someone from my family, to my class?
No. All students must attend Student Registration before they come to a class. The people who work at Literacy Advance will make all the classes. Please do not bring your friends or family to your class!

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Do you have childcare?
We are sorry, but no, we do not have childcare.

Please do not bring your children to class. Only people 18 and older can be at our office. If you bring your children, we will ask you to wait outside the office with them.

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How can the classes be free? Who pays for them?
All our tutors (teachers) are volunteers. They give their time for free and we do not pay them. They make class possible! Please respect them and their time.

We get money from private companies, grants, and individuals.

We do not get state or federal funding.

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Questions about Student Registration:

How can I register for classes?
To register for classes at Literacy Advance, you must finish a 2-hour Student Registration.

  • You must make an appointment before you come. Get information about how to make an appointment.
  • If you are late to registration, or you leave early, you must make a new appointment and come to another registration.
  • You must not bring children to Student Registration.

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I called to make an appointment at Literacy Advance but you told me to call back on another day. Why?

Many people want classes at Literacy Advance Wilcrest. People call every day. To make it as fair as possible, we open the new student registration on one day in the month. That way, everyone calls on the same day and everyone has an equal chance of getting an appointment.

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I have called many times but I couldn't get through. When I finally spoke to someone they said the appointments were full. This isn't fair!

We know this situation is frustrating. We are sorry if you don't get an appointment at Literacy Advance.

Our classes are free, and we have 10 classrooms in our office. We cannot give a class to everyone who wants one. We do not have enough space for hundreds of classes. If we put everyone who calls on the wait-list, the list would have thousands of names on it. People would wait for many, many months. We try to keep the list short, and the wait short. Some people miss out and we are very sorry.

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Why can't I come to the office to make an appointment? When I call the line is busy.

The people who work at the office cannot answer the phone AND talk to people who come to the office, at the same time. We ask everyone to call. Then the people in the office answer the phone.

They work as fast as they can. We know not everyone can get through and we are sorry about that. But this system is as fair as we can make it. Thank you for understanding.

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What documents do I need to bring to Student Registration?
You do not need any documents at Student Registration.

Please bring a pen. We will ask you to give information on a form, that includes things like your name, your phone number, and other information.

Literacy Advance does not need to see other documents.

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What happens at Student Registration?
You will hear some information about Literacy Advance, and we will take you on a tour of our office and classrooms.

You will also do a short evaluation so we know the best class for you. Don't worry about this evaluation! It shows how much you already know and what you need to learn. The evaluation helps us find the right class for you and helps your tutor decide what to teach you.

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What does Literacy Advance do with the information I give at Student Registration?
Your information is confidential. All of the information on your registration form is for our records only. We do NOT give information about you to anyone outside of Literacy Advance.

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What happens after Student Registration?
You will be on a wait-list for class. One of our staff will call you when a class is ready.

Sometimes you will have to wait for several months before a class is ready. Our classes are popular and many people want to come!

Please be patient. We will call you when a class is ready.

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