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What Are Remedial English Classes in a Community College?

by Kate Beck, studioD

Community colleges provide a starting point for many students, typically offering coursework that is part of the first two years of an undergraduate degree. The student body in a community college is diverse, with some students enrolling right after high school graduation and others returning after many years. Part of the application process is a placement test that includes math, reading and writing. Some students will need to take a remedial English class to begin.


Instructors design remedial English courses as a way to refresh students’ reading and writing skills. Colleges offer different levels of remedial courses, and the placement test identifies where a student belongs. Some may need to start with the basics, while other students may begin with a course just below college level. Students should leave remedial-level English with the ability to read with good comprehension and produce college-level papers. This can contribute to success in a variety of subjects during a college career.


A lower-level remedial English course may focus on basic sentence structure and building vocabulary. It may also focus on improving reading and comprehension. The next course levels continue to focus on reading and also begin to work on crafting paragraphs and essays. Classes also help improve grammar and punctuation skills.

Moving Forward

Once all objectives outlined for an English course are achieved, the instructor will recommend the next level of instruction. This may be a higher-level remedial class, or it could be a course at the college level. Academic advisers help determine the next level.


Colleges require a certain level of skills since each course depends good on reading and comprehension to help learn the information. Most classes will require students to write term papers or essays, and a solid foundation in reading and writing will help. As well, once students complete a degree and begin seeking employment, they will find many companies emphasize good communication skills.

About the Author

Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.

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