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The First Day of Class

Everyone is a little nervous on the first day of a new class and a new semester - even the teacher. Knowing what you should bring and what might happen in the class can help you to feel more prepared and relaxed on the first day.

What Should I Bring to Class?

Be sure to come the first day of class. Our classes are usually full. If you don't come to class the first day, you may be dropped from the class to make room for someone who wants to add the class.

Bring proof that you meet the prerequisite for the class.

You should come prepared to work. Bring a notebook for the papers the teacher will give you, paper to write on, and erasable pens.

Where Do I Go?

ARC Main Campus:

We have six ESL classrooms at the ARC campus. Four of them are in Davies Hall. Rooms D102 and D110 are on the first floor of Davies Hall, and you enter those rooms from outside. Rooms D206 and D209 are on the second floor of Davies, and the Humanities Office and ESL teachers' offices are on the third floor. Room 304 is past the cafeteria in the Tech Ed area. Our sixth room, Room 601, is in the parking lot next to Davies Hall. The ESL Center is in the Learning Resource Center building.

Directions by Car to ARC

ARC Campus Map

Natomas Education Center:
If you are taking ESL classes at our Natomas Center, it is located at Del Paso Rd and Natomas Blvd. (Truxel Rd.)

Getting to Natomas

ARC Natomas Web Site

What Will We Do in Class?

Teachers are all a little different, but there are some common things that they do on the first day of class.


Teachers need to check to see who is in the class. If some students do not come the first day, the teacher may add students to take those places, or they may ask students who would like to add to come back the next class to see if they have space.

Teachers also need to check to see that everyone has met the prerequisite for that course (prerequisites are listed in the ARC Class Schedule and the ARC Catalog). Bring a grade report or, if you are a new ARC student, an assessment paper to show your teacher.

This paperwork takes a little time the first class, but soon you'll be hard at work learning English.

Syllabus and Schedule

Your teacher will give you a class syllabus which tells you how to contact the teacher, which textbooks you will need, what you will study, how you will be graded, and other policies for the class. Most teachers will also give you a class schedule showing important dates for tests and other class activities. These schedules sometimes need to be changed a little as the semester goes on, but they give you a general idea of what you will be doing week by week.

Ice Breakers

Also common on the first day of class is some type of "ice breaker", an activity to help you get to know the other students in the class and the teacher. Generally, when students know each other's names and a little bit about each other and the teacher, it makes the class more comfortable for everyone. Be sure you get the phone numbers or emails of a few of your classmates so that you can call or email them for the homework assignment if you are absent.


Many teachers will give you some kind of diagnostic tests or writing exercises. These do not count toward your grade in the class; they just give the teacher more information to plan the class. So just relax and do your best. You are not expected to get 100% correct on a diagnostic or you would not need that class.


Don't be surprised to be given homework to do on the first day of class. The semester passes quickly and there is a lot to learn, so you will get started right away.