English Language Learning Programs in California

Instructor: Bill Sands
A number of public universities, community colleges and adult education centers across the state of California have programs tailored to the needs of students learning English. Keep reading for a list of just a few of these programs.

University of California - Berkeley Extension School

In addition to offering numerous undergraduate and graduate programs, UC Berkeley hosts an extension program that provides workforce development and English as a Second Language training to adult students. The ESL courses at UC Berkeley cultivate both interpersonal and professional communication skills. Coursework focuses on fundamental topics, such as reading and grammar skills, as well as more advanced topics, such as idiomatic and business English. Students can also study pronunciation, oral communication, and academic writing.

Orange Coast College

Located in Costa Mesa, this public community college offers an English as a Second Language program that prepares students for both academic and professional communication. Courses are offered at all levels, from beginner to advanced, and feature a unique pairing system in which students usually take a grammar, writing, and reading course while also enrolled in a speaking, listening, and pronunciation course. This format allows students to practice English in the written and spoken forms simultaneously.

Students begin the program by taking an ESL placement test, which is used to determine a candidate's skills and knowledge. For students with academic ambitions, most ESL courses at Orange Coast College are transferrable, and the school claims that students who take an ESL course are more likely to pass college-level English classes.

California State University - Los Angeles

The English Language Program (ELP) at Cal State LA provides instruction to students who are looking to succeed in a postsecondary education program. The ELP teaches the same basic listening, grammar, reading, writing, and speaking skills as other English language programs, in addition to providing students with the academic skills they can use at the university level. Students enrolled in this program can also prepare to meet the university's ESL testing requirements, participate in social events, and earn academic credit while completing program coursework.

Mountain View Los Altos Adult Education

Located in Mountain View, this public school provides a number of programs for adult learners, such as parent education and workforce training. It also offers an ESL program with a variety of scheduling options to accommodate the needs of busy students, with classes taking place in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Classes are available at both the literacy and advanced levels and include placement tests that assess a student's skill level and place them in the correct class.

Additional options include a family literacy course for parents learning English as well as advanced writing and conversation courses designed to improve students' understanding of idiomatic expressions and vocabulary associated with current events and popular activities, such as work and shopping.

Online ELL Courses

In addition to the many programs found throughout California, there are a number of ELL resources online. If you prefer learning in a digital environment, you may want to take a look at the courses available on Study.com. For example, this Grammar Resources for ELL Students course provides a detailed look at fundamental grammar concepts through short videos that allow you to access written transcripts in addition to the recorded lessons.

If you're already enrolled in a program and are looking for ways to improve your skills outside of the classroom, you can use these Grammar Flashcards to test your skills and confirm that you understand the concepts in your ELL program.