ESL & Language Center

Welcome to the ESL & Language Center!

While NOVA works during the COVID-19 outbreak, all tutoring appointments at the ESL/World Language Center will be conducted virtually (online) using Zoom, the video conferencing with real-time messaging and content sharing program accessible through students’ MyNOVA portal. Click below for an appointment request form. After completing and submitting the form you will receive a confirmation email that your appointment has been made. Look for a second email shortly before your appointment containing information on how to join the Zoom meeting with your tutor. You can email the center at if you have any questions.

Appointment Request Form

The Language Center assists students studying a second language at NOVA Annandale by providing them with resources and technology to improve their listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar skills. Our goal is to provide additional academic assistance to NOVA students. The Language Center boasts a diverse group of experienced tutors who are eager to help students maximize their potential. Our mission is to provide resources for the learning of languages outside the classroom. Students who frequent the Language Center show significant improvement with their listening, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar skills. There are many reasons to come to the language center, but you can come just to build a relationship, so that the day you're running late your teacher knows you, remembers you, and believes you because he or she knows you're an engaged and responsible student.

The Language Center Offers:

  • One-on-one tutoring services of 50 minutes per week per student. The Language Center has a pool of dedicated student tutors who are ready and able to work with a diverse student population.
  • Digital sound files that accompany the laboratory manuals or textbooks used in world language classes at the Annandale Campus.
  • Supplemental software programs to support the development of speaking, listening, reading and grammar skills in the language being studied.
  • DVDs for student use in the Center or at home.
  • Dictionaries and other supplemental texts.
  • Individual or small group study space.
  • Workshops and conversation groups that can give students a chance to practice what they have learned in class. Conversation groups allow students to converse with other students in English about high-interest and relevant topics to students today.
  • [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. - Ashley
  • 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. - Mariam
  • 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

Take a 360 Video-Tour of the ESL & World Language Center!

Use your mouse to drag the screen, and tour the center!

If you’d like to learn more about this and other Academic Support Centers, watch the following video:


Request an Orientation

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

General Information




Movies & Audio

  • 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: Phone: 703.323.3438 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.