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English as a Second Language

Overview Degrees/Certificates Courses Faculty


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American River College offers courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) that are designed exclusively to provide non-native speakers of English with a command of the language necessary to pursue career, transfer, and degree goals. Students whose native language is English but who need help with language fundamentals should seek courses offered in the English Department.

We offer over 75 sections at eight different levels, from novice to advanced. There are five different types of courses:

  • ESL (integrated Reading and Writing courses)
  • ESLG (Grammar courses)
  • ESLL (Listening and Speaking courses)
  • ESLLAB (ESL assistance and courses in the ESL Center)
  • ESLW (Writing)

Some of our courses are taught as hybrid classes (half in the classroom and half online) or completely online. We have classes at our Natomas Center in addition to our main campus.

Our students come from all over the world. Our largest language groups include Dari/Farsi, Arabic, Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish, and Pashto. However, at any given time we have students from more than thirty different countries, speaking more than thirty different languages.

Our faculty is also diverse. Many of us have lived and taught in other countries and speak more than one language. We are united in our love of teaching ESL. American River College is a great place to be. Come and visit us. Our ESL Department webpage has links and help for students about the ESL assessment test, Certificates of Proficiency, prerequisite challenges, and the ELLIS club.

Explore the English as a Second Language Course Sequence

English as a Second Language Course Sequence

ARC ESL Department

Learn more about our program and finding classes.

English as a Second Language Department

ESL Center

Students can work at their own pace on the areas of English that they need most. Many of our students are improving their English skills in order to earn a certificate, complete an associate degree, or to transfer to a university, while other students are here to improve their English skills for their jobs.

ESL Center