English as a Second Language Students (ESL)

The ESL Placement 

The core courses in the Chabot College ESL program are Reading, Writing and Grammar combined skills classes. These courses are offered at 4 levels (Low Intermediate, Intermediate, High Intermediate and Advanced), and the ESL placement processes will help students enter into the level that best fits their needs. If you are a beginner in English, we recommend you start at Adult School.

The ESL placement process uses two measures. First, students will take a test of reading, vocabulary and grammar called the CELSA. Next, students will see a list of skills and identify their own English reading and writing level. The final placement will combine these two parts.  See more information about the placement here. 

What if my class is too easy or too hard?

If a student begins a course and feels it is too difficult, they have the right to move down a level during the add/drop period of time (usually the first 2 weeks of classes). If they want to move up, a student can request a timed writing or other diagnostic test approved and assessed by two teachers. This can be done during the add/drop period to move up a level or at the conclusion of a course to skip a level in the sequence.

Know Your Rights (Education Code §78213)

  1. All graduates of U.S. high schools have the right to take transfer-level English (English 1). Even if you take ESL classes, you can change your mind and enroll in English 1 at any point.
  2. All English language learners have the right to take credit ESL classes. That means you can enroll in ESL 110A even if your placement test recommendation is Noncredit ESL or Adult School. This is just a recommendation. 

Steps to Take ESL Classes

Step 1. Apply online to Chabot College

Step 2. Complete Online Orientation

Step 3. Complete ESL assessment (see below)

Step 4. Connect with a counselor in a group counseling session. You can make an appointment upon completion of your ESL assessment.

We offer ESL assessments on campus and via ZOOM.​ The next assessment cycle will start in late October 2021. Please return to schedule your appointment. Thank you!

1. ESL assessment on campus
  • Your appointment will be on campus in the assessment center, located in Building 700, Room 714A.
  • Please arrive 10 minutes early.
  • Please bring your photo ID and don't forget to wear a mask on campus. 

Schedule your ESL test appointment on campus

2. To take the ESL assessment online via Zoom, you will need:​

  • a reliable internet connection
  • speakers and a microphone
  • a webcam 
  • the ability to use ZOOM on your device (Note: Chromebooks are not compatible.)
    • Zoom Desktop Client for Windows, Mac, or Linux
    • iPad with Zoom Mobile App
    • Important: Your device must be set up to accept the remote control feature
  • a quiet, uninterrupted test spaceAll ESL test appointments for the Fall semester have filled.
  • For assistance with choosing your classes, please connect with a counselor via virtual drop-in

Schedule your ESL test appointment on ZOOM

PLEASE NOTE: Spaces are limited, please keep your appointment. If no appointments are available, please return. New appointments will be added each week.

You will receive an email invitation to a ZOOM meeting from us 24 hours prior to your appointment. Please check your inbox carefully. Emails will come from Bionca Sparrow or Katrin Field with Chabot College.

Sign on to your Zoom meeting five minutes early.

Please have your picture ID ready.

The test session will take 1 hour.

Instructions will be given prior to the test.

PLEASE NOTE: Spaces are limited, please keep your appointment.


Questions?  You can reach us by email: cc-assessment@chabotcollege.edu