How can ESL (English as a Second Language) classes help me?
English as a Second Language classes help non-native speakers learn and improve their ability to communicate in English by developing skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar and pronunciation. Improving your English language skills can help you meet personal, family and career goals. ESL classes can help you:
- get a job, a better job or a promotion
- participate fully in the community
- help your children succeed at school
- access community resources
- prepare to continue your education at colleges and other training programs
- prepare for citizenship
- understand and navigate culture in the United States
Both the adult schools and the community colleges offer a range of ESL classes from basic literacy through advanced levels. Where you begin depends on both your goals and your current level of English language skills.
Click on the questions below to discover where to begin.
Both the adult schools and the community colleges offer classes that will help you improve your English skills.
It is possible to transfer between schools. Talk with a counselor, transition specialist or instructor, who can help determine which level of ESL class you should enroll in at any of the other schools in the South Bay Consortium for Education.
The first step is to choose which school you would like to attend. Then contact the school to begin the enrollment process. Each school follows a slightly different process, with a different number system, but the steps may include the following:
- take a placement test
- meet with a counselor, or transition specialist
- attend an orientation
- place in the appropriate level class
- begin classes
The Community Colleges have an Open House each semester for prospective students to visit the campus where you can talk with counselors, meet professors, and learn more about programs and support services.
How can I explore careers while learning English?
Career-focused ESL classes allow you to explore a new career while learning English. These classes can help you prepare for your new career by giving you the language skills you need for further training. Some of these programs start at an adult school and then transfer into the community college. These Bridge to Career Pathways programs include the following career pathways:
- ESL for Childcare: Mission College (credit)PDF
- ESL in Health Care: San Jose City College (non-credit)PDF
- ESL for Computers and Computing: San Jose City College (non-credit)PDF
- ESL for the Workplace: San Jose City College (non-credit)PDF
- ESL for Job Search Success: Evergreen Valley College (non-credit)
Talk with a counselor or transition specialist at one of the schools about enrolling in these programs.