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

Basic language skills


If you want to learn basic language skills for daily life or 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: ESL 023, 024, and 025.

Social and business language skills


If you want to be comfortable reading English media, listening and speaking skills for daily social interactions and basic business and personal writing, you will want to complete these intermediate courses.


Complete classes through the intermediate level: ESL 128, 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: ESL161, 165 and 168.

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Our ESL program welcomes students of different levels of proficiency in or knowledge of English. You are placed in your appropriate level (high beginning, intermediate, or advanced) based on your CaMLA 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 CaMLA English placement tests, which assess your language skills and help identify your starting class level. Attend an ESL orientation. See your "Checklist" within MyWCC to select an upcoming orientation session.

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.