What is ESOL?

The ESOL Department offers eight levels of English, from level 1, for students with no or very little English, through level 8, after which students can continue on with their college classes. ESOL levels 1-8 serve the needs of adult refugees, immigrants, permanent residents and U.S. citizens. Levels 4-8 also serve the needs of professional personnel working or training in the U.S., international students, and international visitors. American-born deaf or hard-of-hearing students may take levels 4-8 if their first language is American Sign Language.

Why take ESOL classes

All ESOL students are working to achieve various personal goals, such as learning enough English to meet daily communication needs, conducting business, getting involved in their children’s education and interacting in their community. Most ESOL students also have work- or education-related goals, such as high school equivalency or high school completion, professional or technical training, professional development, or continuation of college studies within an English-speaking medium.

Our faculty

Teachers in the ESOL program have Masters Degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) or Master Degrees and advanced TESOL training. These teachers come to the program with experience teaching students with language backgrounds other than English. Many teachers have additional expertise such as teaching with technology or teaching literacy. Most teachers have lived and worked in countries other than the U.S.

Credit and non-credit classes

ESOL offers both credit and non-credit classes. See the program overview page for more information.

How to enroll

All new students who do not speak English as their first language must complete the following steps before they can enroll in any ESOL class.

  1. Complete a PCC admissions application.
  2. Find the ESOL testing schedule for your campus. (See Locations menu on the right.)
  3. Take the ACCUPLACER ESL placement test at the location where you plan to take classes.
  4. Make an appointment to see the ESOL advisor after you finish your test.
  5. Attend a PCC orientation session at the campus where you plan to take classes.
  6. Register for classes (your advisor will tell you how).