Frequently Asked ESL Questions

Q: I want to take ESL classes at Cypress College. How do I begin?

A: Since Cypress ESL classes are college-level and transfer-level credit courses, you need to apply to the college by visiting the Cypress College website and clicking on the “Apply Now” link.

Cypress College is on a 16-week semester system, so classes usually begin in late January and late August.

Q: Which English placement test should I take?

A: If English is not your first language, you should take the CELSA placement test for non-native speakers. You should take this test if…:

1) you were born and raised in a non-English speaking country; or 2) you started the American school system in the 7th to 12th grade or later;

You can get more information by visiting the Assessment Center.

Q: I want to transfer as soon as possible. What is the fastest way for me to get to English 100?

A: The fastest way for a non-native speaker to get to English 100 is to take the ESL placement test (CELSA) and enroll in the appropriate ESL core course. Our ESL courses will address non-native language issues related to reading, writing, & grammar.

This is also the BEST way to prepare for English 100 since our program has the 2nd highest rate of the 112 community colleges in California for successful completion from ESL to English 100.

Q: I took the English placement test and scored into English 57 or English 58. Since they are “regular” English classes, shouldn’t I take one of them instead of taking an ESL class?

A: No, English 57 and English 58 are not the appropriate classes for non-native students to build up their language skills. English 57 and 58 are developmental courses for native English speakers; second language issues are not addressed in English 57 or English 58. ESL students who enroll in English 57 or English 58 rarely build up their academic reading & writing skills enough to be successful in English 60.

These students may pass English 57 or English 58, but since their second language issues were never addressed, they are transfered by their English 60 instructors back to the ESL program after having “wasted” two semesters.