ESL: English as a Second Language

The ESL program at Chabot College is for learners of English. You will improve your English skills for college, work, and daily life. We want to help you reach your goals! 

In ESL classes you can: 

  • Improve your English reading, writing, grammar, listening and speaking skills; 
  • Earn college credits towards a degree, or complete a noncredit ESL certificate program; 
  • Make friends and build your confidence in English.

Our ESL Program 

Chabot College has five levels of ESL classes, from High-Beginning to Advanced. We do not have beginner level classes. We recommend beginners start at an Adult School until they can read, write, and speak English in full sentences.

Each class is one semester, 18 weeks long. Our core program includes Reading, Writing and Grammar classes at each level. You can also take Listening and Speaking classes. In our first 3 levels, we offer noncredit classes. That means you only need to pay the $33 student fee each semester. The classes are tuition-free.

Levels 4-5 are our academic ESL program. Students can earn credits that are transferable to the California State University and the University of California schools. When students complete our advanced level courses, they are well prepared for English 1 (transfer level English) and/or a professional career. You will pay regular college tuition for these levels, so you may want to apply for financial aid. 

See ESL Course Sequence

Steps to Register in ESL Classes 

Fall semester begins in the middle of August, and Spring semester begins in the middle of January. We also have a few classes in the summer beginning in June. Start the application process early so you are ready to start classes on time.

There are 3 main steps to begin classes: 

Apply at CCCApply

Fill out the college application. First you will make an account and then answer some questions about yourself. Submit when you are finished. You will receive a confirmation email when you submit. About 1 week later, you will receive an email with your student number. We sometimes call it your W number because it begins with W. 

Help! For help with the application in English or Spanish, contact El Centro.

el centro front door

All students who want to join the ESL program need to have an ESL Assessment appointment. After you submit the college application and receive your student ID number (W number), you can sign up for the ESL Assessment appointment. It will take about 2 hours. At the appointment, you will take a 30-minute English test. Next, you will meet with an ESL teacher to learn about our classes and levels and find the best level for you.

You can make an appointment to take the assessment on campus: 

Schedule your On Campus Assessment Appointment

Or, you can make an appointment to take the assessment online on Zoom: 

Schedule your Zoom Assessment Appointment

If no appointments are available now, please check again soon. We add new appointments every week. 

For more information about the assessment test and appointment, see the ESL Assessment webpage

You will learn about your ESL level at the assessment center appointment, and next you are ready to register for classes. You can register on CLASS-Web or come to campus and register in building 700 at the Admissions and Registration window.

When you register, you will need the class CRN numbers. You will learn more about how to register at your assessment appointment. If you have questions about classes, email us at

Video: ESL How to register for classes on CLASS-web