ESL Questions and Help

English as a Second Language

For more information about the ESL Department contact:
(714) 895-8772
Fine Arts 106A

How do I sign up for classes?

First apply for admission to Golden West College.
(General information + the following link)

GWC Apply

International Students use this link:

Note: There is a separate application process for international students.

Here is the link to the The Center for Global & Cultural Programs’ Office to help you.

How do I find out which classes are best for me?

After you have been admitted to Golden West, go to the Assessment Center and make an appointment to take the Placement Test.  Here is the link for the Assessment Center and their phone number.

After you have taken the Placement Test and have your results, you should see a counselor and get advice with your educational plan and goals.  Here is the link:

How much do classes cost?

Basically, it is $46/unit for resident students and $214/unit for nonresident students, but there are also other fees.  See the link below for additional information.

When do classes start?

Here is the link to always know when the semesters start and end.

When and where do I get my books?

The GWC bookstore gets the books early. You can get your books the week before classes start and come to class prepared the first day.  Be sure to keep your receipt.  If you have your receipt and you have a problem you can return the book or books and get your money back and then get the correct book.

What do I do if the class I want is full?

You will be put on a waiting list. Be sure to go to class the first day if you are on the waiting list.  Some teachers will go down the list and add students in order.  Other teachers will do a lottery system.  It is the teachers’ choice how they add students.
If you are not added to the class, you may not stay and sit in on the class in the hope that you will be added.

Now that I am in classes, what do I need to do to progress through the program? 

For each class, you must have the correct placement from the Assessment Center if you are a new student.  If you are a continuing student, you must complete the prerequisite for that class.

See the chart below that shows the prerequisites. The arrows show the prerequisites.  You can see that you need a core/writing class for the next class.  You need to complete ESL 011 to take ESL 021; you need ESL 021 for ESL 031, and so on.  You need to complete ESL 032 to take ESL 042, and so on.  You need to complete ESL 053 in order to take ESL 063.

Notice also that you need to complete the right listening class to take the next core/writing class.  So if you start at ESL 061 and ESL 063, you will need to pass both of these classes to take ESL 071.  If you start at ESL 051, 052 and 053, you need to pass all three classes to take anything at the 60 level.

ESL course path chart

Let’s look at some examples.

Example 1
Your first semester, you place into ESL 041, ESL 052, and ESL 043.    You decide to take ESL 041 and ESL 043.  You pass both classes.  Then in Semester 2, you will need to take ESL 051, ESL 052, and ESL 053 to be able to take ESL 061.

Example 2
Your first semester, you place into ESL 041, ESL 052, and ESL 043.  You decide to take ESL 041 only.  You may decide to do a challenge Listening/Speaking test with Ms. Boyer, but if you do not pass the challenge, you will still have to take ESL 043 before you can take ESL 051.

Example 3
Your first semester, you have placed into ESL 061 and ESL 053, but your placement says “No reading required.”

You must complete ESL 061, ESL 053, and ESL 063 in order to be eligible to take ESL 071.  In this case, your first semester, you could take ESL 061 and ESL 053.  You could also spend time each week in the Conversation Lab in the Tutoring Center and practice you listening skills on the Golden West College ESL website .  Then at the end of the semester, if you have passed ESL 061, try to challenge ESL 063.  If your challenge of 63 is successful, if you can talk well in the challenge and listen well, then you can take ESL 071.

Are there support services to help me learn English faster?

Yes. First of all, use the GWC ESL website.
Go to the Writing and Reading Center on the ground floor in the new Learning Resource Center.

Writing Center self-study courses are ¼ unit to ½ unit courses that can be done at the student’s own speed. No placement test is needed for Writing Center courses.

Section of ESL Readers on the second floor of the LRC very near the Reference desk.
Section of books for younger readers in stack 22 on the third floor of the LRC.
Also on the ground floor of the LRC is the Tutorial Learning Center.  There is a free Conversation Lab in the Tutorial Learning Center.  The schedule changes a little each semester.  For Fall 2018, this is the schedule.

Even in you are not currently taking a conversation class, going to the Conversation Lab in the Tutoring Center in the LRC is a great way to build your English skills.  Remember that the better your pronunciation is, especially for those sounds at the ends of the words, the better your spelling will be.

10am – 4pm (Jack)
11am – 2pm (Val)

10am – 4pm (Jack)

10am – 4pm (Jack)
11am – 2pm (Val)

10am – 4pm (Jack)