English as a Second Language

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A different language is a different vision of life.

– Federico Fellini

Welcome! You are making a great choice to study at Cypress College. Our exceptional ESL program has excellent faculty and inspiring students from various cultures, ages, and educational backgrounds.

The Cypress College ESL Program offers academically rigorous courses for English language learners who want to…

  • earn certificates and degrees
  • transfer to universities
  • advance in their jobs or careers
  • strengthen their academic reading and writing skills
  • improve their grammar and vocabulary
  • gain confidence in their communication skill

The Cypress College ESL program provides a sequence of core courses that start at the low-intermediate proficiency level and progress to transfer-level composition. Students can also benefit from elective courses that focus on specific language skills.

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New ESL Placement Process

As of July 1, 2023, the ESL Assessment test is no longer offered at Cypress College. Cypress College has implemented a new placement process known as ESL Guided Placement. English Language Learners are invited to participate in this new process. For more on this, visit our ESL Guided Placement page.

If you are interested in taking classes at Cypress College but want more information, please check out our FAQ page. You can also email esl@cypresscollege.edu. We look forward to working with you!

If you experience any problems registering for an ESL course, let us know, and we will help you through the process! Email esl@cypresscollege.edu.

What You’ll Study

  • Freshman composition for English Language Learners, which fulfills CSU & UC requirements
  • Advanced Academic Reading/Writing, which fulfills CSU & UC general education requirements
  • Cultural aspects of language, including multilingualism and sociolinguistics
  • Experiences of underrepresented and minority communities
  • Academic Oral Skills
  • Pronunciation
  • ESL Reading
  • ESL Grammar
  • Intermediate and advanced listening and speaking
  • Cultural distinctions in world views
  • Cultural orientations and social relationships
  • Cultural expectations related to education
  • College Writing Preparation


Visit our catalog for more information about the certificates, courses, and program learning outcomes for students enrolled in our ESL program.

Educational and Career Advancement


  • ESL Milestone Certificate – Pathway to Transfer: Language Arts/Oral Communication
  • ESL Milestone Certificate – Pathway to Transfer: Language Arts/Written Communication
  • ESL Milestone Certificate – Pathway to Transfer: Social Sciences
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to Business and CIS
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to CTE/ATC
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to Dental Hygiene/Nursing/Psychiatric Technology
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to DMS, HIT or RADT
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to Kinesiology and Public Health
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to SEM
  • ESL Milestone Certificate: Pathway to Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

ESL Courses…

  • meet GE requirements for AA/AS degrees
  • transfer to a CSU, UC, or private university
  • lead to Guided Pathways ESL Milestones Certificates
  • develop necessary skills for the workplace

Program Mapper

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Visit our Program Mapper for more information.

What Students Say

“I started attending classes at Cypress College in 2015; meanwhile, there was a huge barrier that I had to face because I was a non-native English speaker. In ESL 185, however, I could learn the fundamental and essential elements and principals of reading, writing, and speaking in English. Also, the lessons through ESL class were a powerful and vital resource to take prerequisites for OT school. In addition, it helped my name be placed in the President’s Honor List of Cypress College in the Spring of 2016 and complete the 14 classes with a strong GPA of 3.95. With the continuous support and encouragements by the ESL faculty, I have now achieved my current position, a graduate school student, which I couldn’t have ever imagined at that time.”

Young Lee, South Korea

“The first year at Cypress College, I did not know what I wanted to be in my life, and taking the ESL 183 at first semester, however, was a right choice for me. As I am a foreign student from Burma, I do not deny the fact that I have a language barrier. I did have a lot of struggles to understand the accent of American people when I first arrived to the United States. I finished my high school only in my country and deciding to come to the U.S. to study in Cypress College was quite challenging for me at first. But I never regret making this decision because all the professors I met in Cypress College are very kindhearted and welcoming. In addition, without the help of ESL program at Cypress College, I could not imagine where my life would be. Thankfully, the ESL program really pushed me toward what I wanted to be, and it is a real pathway that lead me to the major of my dream finally.”

Madi Myat Su, Burma


Adjunct Faculty

  • Michael Chamberlain
  • Tonya Cobb
  • Esmeralda Godoy
  • Ana Maradiaga-Bunker
  • Scott Robertson
  • Lynn Walker
  • Catherine Whitsett

English as a Second Language Department

Location: Humanities, Room 208L
T: (714) 484-7000 ext. 48671
Department Chair: Alison Robertson, arobertson@cypresscollege.edu
Department Email: esl@cypresscollege.edu