Welcome to the Annandale Academic Support Centers!
To learn more about the Academic Support Centers, watch the following video.
ASC Mission Statement
Academic Support Services strives to help students reach their full learning potential. We are partners in the development of academic and professional opportunities across disciplines united by NOVA’s common values of success, access and excellence. We welcome students’ unique experiences, knowledge and perspectives and advocate personal educational goals and career readiness for a globally competitive workforce. We accomplish our mission by providing:
Subject specific workshops
Small group study sessions
Time management/study skills assistance
Print and electronic resources
Open access multimedia resources
Educational software including language learning software
Special topics, clubs, and fellowships — ex. TED Talks and Conversation Cafe’s
The Office of Disability Services has discontinued the provision of Extended Time Tutoring as an accommodation on students’ MOAs. All NOVA students are entitled to the same amount of tutoring time, in accordance with individual centers’ policies.
How to make an appointment
While NOVA works during the COVID-19 outbreak, all tutoring appointments will be conducted virtually (online) using Zoom, the video conferencing with real-time messaging and content sharing program accessible through students’ MyNOVA portal. Students can visit Nova’s Online Tutoring Webpage and click on the Request Online Services button to schedule an appointment with a tutor themselves.
Students can also click below to find the Annandale ASC’s Appointment Request Form. After completing and submitting the form someone will schedule an appointment for you and you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the Zoom meeting with your tutor. You can always send an email to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Faculty interested in having their students get to know the Center can request an orientation. A member of our staff will discuss our mission, goals, services, expectations for a tutoring session and much more! Please fill out our online request form.
Orientation Request Form
My Professor told me that I need to go to the Language Center. What am I supposed to do there?
Most students who come to the Language Center choose to work with the audio materials that accompany their textbook or laboratory manual. These books often contain exercises that require students to listen to the audio materials in order to be able to complete them. The Language Center also has supplemental software and DVDs students can use to work on their listening, speaking, reading and grammar skills. Free tutoring is available. Tutors can assist you in improving your skills, helping with questions and doubts and providing opportunities for conversation.
What is the ESL Center? What is the purpose of the Center?
The ESL Center provides academic support to students currently enrolled at NOVA whose native language is not English.
We offer a wide range of services from tutoring and workshops, to software specifically designed to teach ESL concepts.
Where is the Language Center located?
The ESL Center is located in the CG building, room 408 on the Annandale Campus.
Can any NOVA student use the ESL Center?
Any ESL student, past or present, from any campus, can use the facility.
How can I reach the Center?
You can contact the ESL Center at: 703.323.3438. If you’d like to come in and make an appointment in person visit CG-408.
When are you open for tutoring this semester?
Please see ‘Hours’ at the left of the page for current operating hours
Who runs the Center?
The Language Center is run by the Center Supervisor, who coordinates our team of tutors and center support staff.
It is difficult for me to come to the Language Center when it is open. Is there any way I can do my lab work at home?
Lab work is sometimes calculated as part of a student’s full grade, therefore, students should be sure to talk with their professor about doing lab work at home.
Where do I go to take a placement test and what should I expect?
In order to take a placement test for Chinese, Spanish, French, German or Arabic, you should go to the Testing Center in CA-115. Foreign language placement tests are not offered at the Language Center.
All placement tests are written tests and do not test a student’s listening or speaking ability. Tests are not timed, but students should allow at least an hour for each test. Test results will be sent to the World Language Department — they will determine what class level a student should register.
What is tutoring?
Tutoring is a 50-minute session where a student can work solely with a tutor, and work on any academic difficulties they may be having. The aim is to provide students with a contact for support and to help them advance through their academic studies.
Who are the tutors?
The Language Center has a wide range of tutors ranging from current NOVA students to community volunteers.
What happens at a tutoring appointment?
Your tutor will meet with you and you will work together at an individual tutoring station. There you will discuss any current difficulties you may be having, or any questions you may have. Your tutor will ask you several questions, identifying what areas you wish to work on. They will also look over any materials you have brought with you and work out the best way to use your time together. Please remember that our tutors will do their best, but they may not be able to cover all of your concerns in a single appointment. Students are encouraged to make repeat appointments. We will do our best to keep you with the same tutor, who will continue to work with you throughout the semester.
What do I need to bring?
Please bring the assignment you wish to work on and instructions from your teacher. It is also a good idea to bring your textbook with you. We have a small selection at the Center, but not all of them.
Can a tutor write my paper for me?
No. Our tutors will not write your paper for you, nor can they proofread any of your papers. They will identify key areas and common mistakes made by ESL students. They will also explain solutions so that you will be able to proofread your own work. Tutors can also help with essay structure and ensuring that you fully understand what the teacher is asking of you in each assignment.
What sort of questions can a tutor answer?
A tutor can answer questions you may have about grammar rules, structures of essay papers, vocabulary and even give advice for things such as exam technique and ensuring you are familiar with the class instructions.
How do I make an appointment?
Please contact us by phone or in person:
Come by our office located at CG-408.
How many times can I get a tutorial?
Each student is eligible for one free 50-minute tutoring session per week of the semester.
What is Conversation Cafe?
Conversation Cafe is a great opportunity to practice your speaking and pronunciation skills with other Language and ESL students and an Language/ESL tutor. In these workshops, students are guided by the tutor to discuss cultural events and other topics together or in small groups. The aim is to share ideas and practice vocabulary learned inside and outside of class. Students are encouraged to bring things they would like to discuss to the workshop. There is no need to sign up, just come to CG-408. Days and times of various Conversation Cafe meetings will be posted outside the Language Center door.
Will I have to pay to attend a workshop?
No! All of our workshops are FREE to NOVA students.
What do I need to bring with me to a workshop?
Please bring a pen and paper.
What Software does the ESL center have?
Please see the software tab for a complete listing.
Can anyone use the software?
Any student at NOVA may come and use our software free of charge.
What do I need in order to use the software in the center?
To access the software you will need to know your MyNOVA login and password. If you are unsure what yours is, please call IT Support at 703.426.4141 and they will be able to issue you with your logon information.
Why are movies being offered by the ESL center?
Immersing yourself in the language you are trying to learn can be immensely helpful. Movies are a great way to gain familiarity with things such as idiomatic phrases, and see conversation English in action! Our group setting allows students to share ideas with one another after the movie has ended, as well as providing a good glimpse of American culture. It can help you build your vocabulary skills and confidence in speaking the English language. Announcements about movie times will be posted here on the website.
Does it cost anything to watch a movie?
No. All of our movie screenings are FREE to students!
Who is allowed to come and watch movies?
Any student is welcome to come and watch the movies.
I have an iPod/MP3 player/flash drive, etc. Can I copy/record/download audio materials myself from the Language Center computers?
All audio materials in the Language Center originated from copyrighted works. Students are strictly prohibited from using personal devices to copy, record or download any of the audio materials or software programs available for use in the Language Center.
Refer a Student
Need to Send a Student to the Center to be Tutored?
Download the Tutor Referral form.
Students who meet the following criteria are encouraged to apply to be a tutor:
Applicants should have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and an A in the course(s) they are interested in working with.
Applicants must demonstrate strong communication skills, strong study and time management skills, be well organized and have patience and compassion toward others.
Applicants must be interested in working with a diverse group of students who may be struggling in their coursework and study skills.
The tutoring centers hire on an as-needed basis. If you are a student taking six or more credits and are interested in becoming a tutor, please visit one of the tutoring centers on the fourth floor of the CG building. You can talk with any of the Academic Support Center Supervisors to learn more about how to become a tutor, or feel free to send them an email. Contact information can be found on the center websites.
If you are a potential applicant who is not taking six or more credits at NOVA, tutoring positions are regularly posted on NOVA’s website.
I have been sending my ENF 3 students to tutors in the Annandale Student Support Centers (both the Writing Center and the Language Center) for well over ten years. It’s a mistake to believe that when students get to the ENF 3 level, which is offered with college-level composition, they have internalized the skills to respond to all writing assignments on their own. There is only so much assistance that professors can provide by correcting papers. Students sometimes benefit more by working with a peer, which is how they see their tutors; in taking this attitude, they often feel more relaxed and open to critiques of their work. They don’t take it as personally, since it’s not their teacher, the authority who grades them. Not all tutor-tutee experiences are positive, just as not all teacher-student experiences are positive, and in neither case does this reflect more than the chemistry between the two parties. I know that tutors are chosen carefully by the Centers’ directors and while they are not teachers, they do have skills to bring to bear when working with students. Overall, most of my students have had very positive experiences when working with tutors, and it has increased their motivation to do better, even as it has helped them earn higher grades.
The tutoring services offered by NOVA’s Language Center are in an invaluable and much-needed resource. I cannot overstate how important these services are and what they represent for the successful attainment of our students’ academic goals. These services play a vital role in the development of all of the language learning skills of our ESL students and also students who are native English speakers. I have seen first-hand how my ESL students have benefited from the tutoring services over the years. In numerous cases, the level of improvement of students in my ESL cases has been significant and impactful. Many of these students have expressed how grateful they are to have had the opportunity to have a place where they could work on improving their weaknesses. They have also mentioned how friendly the staff at the Language Center is and how committed they are to helping students in any way they can. Many of these students continue taking advantage of tutoring services after they complete their ESL courses. In fact, they have indicated that the tutoring services better prepared them for their College-Level English courses. The tutoring services at NOVA’s Language Center are one of the greatest resources available to our students and are quite simply irreplaceable.
This is just a quick note to express my appreciation for the support your office has given my English 111 and 112 students. As you know, my classes visit early each semester to experience your tutoring services and accept first-hand tutorial support as writers. I also suspect they find the quiet space on the upper floor of the CG Building a haven on campus.The diversity of the NOVA student body is both our blessing and challenge. We ask them to see their own writing as part of a continuum of growth and development, from their ideas about the world to the written word. The iterative and intuitive writing process often scares many from taking creative risks. Your centers have helped my students gain confidence as writers. Tutoring services offer students of all abilities an authentic sounding board; and the practical knowledge they gain gives them confidence to more successfully approach their research and argumentation.
I am writing this in support of the tutoring program that is available in the Language Center. I have taught ESL courses at NOVA for many years and have seen the positive changes that students experience as a result of this program. Whether it is for a one-time review or biweekly appointments, tutors have offered my students an opportunity to improve and understand at a better level than they might have through classes alone. Students benefit from hearing information in multiple ways and feeling comfortable asking questions of someone who can focus on them and their particular needs. I have had students who were lagging behind others, not for lack of effort, but because they were slightly behind their classmates or had not learned previous skills sufficiently. Working with a tutor helped them gain both skill and confidence that helped them complete the semester successfully. I have great respect for this program and hope that we can maintain it in the future.
My name is Moyo Johnson and I teach Japanese language at NOVA for more than 5 years. I have always appreciated the fact that the tutoring session has been available for my students. Every semester, my students enjoy and benefit from their services. Tutoring session is critical for a language learning. My students just don't get enough opportunities to use the target language in the classroom. Once they use the service, they always go back. I especially appreciate NOVA hires a native speaker to tutor my students. It's important they hear and speak with a native speaker. This semester, I asked the tutoring service to offer Zoom tutoring session as a group, because some of my students told me that they feel awkward to have one on one tutoring session online for one hour; s/he fears running out of things to talk about or can't continue conversations in one on one situation. They said they would feel more comfortable if they can join the tutor as a group. Tutoring session was kind enough to offer sessions as a group. It was very helpful for my students especially toward the end of the semester when they have to submit group speaking project as a final oral exam. By all means, tutoring service is indispensable for my language class. Thank you for your effort to keep up with a great work.
The ESL Center, and in particular the tutors, has been a major key to success for my ESL students. Over the last ten years, I have had hundreds of students that have used the ESL Center and their tutors. They offer a lot of benefits for our students. First, they get one hour of one on one help. As an instructor who often has 20+ students, I just don’t have the time to give one hour of individual instruction to each student. Students improve the most through one on one assistance. Tutors can directly identify areas of weakness and help the students to improve their writing and reading. And these skills they take with them in their academic career and in the workforce.
This tutoring help is free! (Tutoring in the area is usually a minimum of $40/hour, and often $50 or $60+.) Most of our ESL students are tight for cash, and this free service greatly helps them.
If somehow there were no tutors and no ESL Center, I would be extremely disappointed. It would be a significant loss for our students.
I have been a full-time faculty member at Northern Virginia Community College on the Annandale campus for over 12 years teaching English, English as a Second Language and developmental English classes. Both the reading/writing center and language center are essential and valuable for student success, student engagement and successful academic persistence. All the services they offer foster intellectual independence, and cultivate overall academic language and literacy development. Both centers are talented at meeting the ever-changing needs of our very diverse population of students.Both Centers’ services have morphed to meet the needs of the students, campus, programs and faculty needs over the years I have been at NOVA. For example, when I came to NOVA, we had embedded peer tutors in our developmental English classes. Due to increased tutoring center demands, tutor hours were shifted to the tutoring centers. As another example of the centers changing as needed to meet student needs and demands, the centers have offered various versions of synchronous on-line tutoring, in-person tutoring, and asynchronous on-line tutoring based on student demand and needs. I have had a wide variety of students take advantage of these options. This level of flexibility in services and service delivery is needed because of our very diverse and ever-changing student populations. NOVA Annandale has 18-year old students who are living in their parent’s basements and playing video games when not in their NOVA classes. We also have adult students with children of their own also supporting their elderly parents while working a few jobs and taking NOVA classes. All types of students need tutoring services to support their academic language progress.Although learning and academic support centers are commonplace on most college and university campuses, our two centers on the Annandale campus have always done an exceptional job of meeting the diverse language needs of our very diverse student population. I always know I can send a returning English native speaker who has been out of school for 15 years to get grammar assistance as well as a student who is right out of high school who is not a native English speaker. Both students will be directed to the appropriate resources from the two centers even if both are seeking grammar assistance for the same class. I know that both students will get assistance suited for their very different language learning needs.Both centers do an excellent job of respecting our very diverse student talents and ways of learning. For example, I had an older returning adult student one semester who came to my class after picking up and reading ALL the paper handouts from the Language Center. The handouts are printed and sitting out for students in the center. Yes, these handouts are also on-line for students less intimidated by technology but my older, adult, ESL student truly appreciated having something in his hands to read.Both the Language Center and Reading/Writing Center are excellent resources for students on the Annandale campus. I hope both centers remain fully funded resources for our diverse students into the future.
I am a full-time ESL instructor at the Annandale campus and for many years, I have been bringing my classes to the lab. In the lab, they are introduced to the software that is available and to the tutors who can help them. I teach reading, writing and listening and speaking classes and I know with certainty that using the appropriate software for their class and working with a tutor as needed, has made the difference in whether a student passes my class or fails the class. Our students are very hardworking and often have jobs and families. We need to provide them with all the support they need.
Huge help to me, as I was struggling in statistics. –MTH 245 Student
The tutors are great at explaining, very friendly, and help right away.- CHM 111 Student
They are all amazing tutors! – CHM 111 Student
She did a great job of helping me have a better understanding the material and showed me good tips to use Excel. – MTH 154 Student
The tutor was knowledgeable on the subject I needed assistance on, he showed me a sure proof way to get the right answers each time. – MTH 154 Student
He was attuned in his knowledge in Excel and was capable to teach me how to solve the calculations for my assignment for mth 154. – MTH 154 Student
I found a great tutor and always very patient when explaining concepts. - CHM 111 Student
All the chem tutors are awesome!! thank you so much for your help! - CHM 111 Student
[H]ighly impressed with the tutors at the Language and Reading/Writing Center. Christine at the Language Center is Awesome! She helped me pass English 111 and English 112. I got an A with her help. Mina at the Writing Center did the same as well. I got an A with her help.
I came in [to the Language Center] yesterday. I didn't have appointment, but your team made time for me. Ben was patient, kind and understanding. English is not my first language, not even my second language, I needed lots of help. I was worried if I was able to get it all done because my paper was long. He took his time, explain[ed] to me when he made correction and he stayed with me until we finished. When I was done I felt great because of him. He's wonderful and I am glad he's there.
I just wanted to say thank you all so much for helping me again this semester. Without all of you I would be lost and every one of you was a pleasure working with as always. I wish I could have kept up the tradition of giving you all a pop-up card this semester, but given the current state of affairs, I will have to settle with sending you this email...I wish you all a safe and wonderful summer 😎🌞.Sincerely, Katie
Annandale Campus, CG Building, 4th Floor
ESL Center Supervisor
Academic Support Centers Coordinator
Spring 2021 Operating Hours
Monday – Thursday 10:00 to 6:00
Friday : 10:00 to 3:00
First Day of Tutoring: January 19
Last Day of Tutoring: Monday, May 3rd
Center Closures for 2021
January 18: MLK Jr. Day
March 8 – 12: Closed for Spring Break May 4 – May 16: Closed for Intersession
May 31: Memorial Day September 16: Labor Day November 25 – 26: Thanksgiving Holiday December 24-Jan 1, 2020: Winter Break