English as a Second Language

Everyone can learn a second language! When you study English as a Second Language (ESL) at WCC, you will be taught by distinguished faculty and actively involved in lively classroom discussions. Our classes will help you achieve the level of English proficiency you need to reach your own goals. You can take just a few classes to get comfortable with speaking English, or you can complete our ESL certificate program. Learn more about our English as a Second Language program.

Here are some general guidelines to help you plan your course of study:

General guidelines

Goal Skills Classes

A job


If you want to find a job as quickly as possible, you need to understand spoken English and to have effective strategies for communicating.


Start with our beginning classes: ENG 023, 024, and 025.

Comfort with English


If you want to be comfortable reading English newspapers and speaking English in informal settings, formal writing skills are not necessary.


Complete classes through the intermediate level: ENG 132, 134, 135, and 138.

A college education


If you wish to attend college level classes or work in a professional field, you will need sophisticated spoken and written English.

Complete classes through the advanced level: ENG 161 and 165.

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Our ESL program welcomes students of different abilities. You are placed in your appropriate level (high beginning, intermediate, or advanced) based on your ESL COMPASS test scores.

Get started

You’ll be on your way to learning English with just a few steps:

Step 1: Apply online to WCC. It’s easy and free! Apply now.

Step 2: Verify your identity and residency with Enrollment Services with a state ID, driver’s license, green card, or passport.

Step 3: Once we’ve received your application, your WCC ID number will be emailed to you. With your WCC ID Number, you can set up a WCC Gateway account. This will give you a checklist to complete the application process.

Step 4: Attend an ESL orientation. You’ll take the ESL COMPASS and CaMLA English placement tests, which assess your language skills and help identify your starting class level. Find upcoming ESL orientation sessions .

Step 5: Meet with International Student Center advisor to select ESL classes.

Find support at the International Student Center

At WCC, you are among a vast community of students who are taking advantage of new experiences while meeting the challenge of learning a new language.

Visit the International Student Center to access resources designed specifically for you, such as:

  • Academic and career advising
  • Cross-cultural guidance
  • Social programming
  • Community engagement
  • International Student Association, our student-run club where you can make friends from all over the world.