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Student Frequently Asked Questions

What classes do you have?
We have 2 main programs:

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 offer GED, and we do not have advanced classes. When you are ready, we will help you with your next step through our Transition Program.

We also sometimes have Special Classes that you can come to, as well as your regular class.

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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 time each week for 16 weeks. Each time is 3 hours.
    Total = 48 hours.
  • Two times each week, for 12 weeks. Each time is 2 hours.
    Total = 48 hours.

You can stay in class for more than 12 or 16 weeks. 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 can I register for classes?
To register for classes at Literacy Advance, you must finish a 2-hour Student Registration.

  • Registration is at regular times every week but you must make an appointment before you come.
  • If you are late to registration, or you leave early, you must make a new appointment and come to another registration.

Click here for more information about Student Registration.

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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 waiting list for class. A member 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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How long will I have to wait for a class?
It depends. It might be just a week or two, but it will probably be longer. The average wait is approximately 8 - 12 weeks.

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 more quickly.

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Can I practice English while I wait for a class to be ready for me?

The computer lab at Literacy Advance Wilcrest (West Houston) 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, which 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 sign up for Special Classes. These classes change regularly, so check often!

If you are a registered ESL student and waiting for a class, you can come to While You're Waiting. These classes help 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 While You're Waiting any more, as it is only for students on the waitlist. We will give you the current schedule at student orientation.

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

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Can I come to more than one class?
You can be in one (1) regular ESL or ABE 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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