English as a Second Language Students (ESL)

The ESL Placement 

Chabot College offers credit and noncredit ESL classes in Reading, Writing and Grammar as well as listening and speaking skills.

We have 5 levels (High Beginning, Low Intermediate, Intermediate, High Intermediate and Advanced). We do not have total beginner classes at Chabot. 

If you know you want to start in the first level, high beginning, you can skip the placement test and register for classes (ESL 210, 220 and 230) or just go to class and get help from the teacher.

For all other levels, you need to make an ESL placement appointment below. At the appointment, you will take a placement test of reading, vocabulary and grammar called the CELSA, learn more about the class levels, and decide on the best classes for you.

What if my class is too easy or too hard?

If you begin a course and feel it is too difficult, you have the right to move down a level during the add/drop period of time (usually the first 2 weeks of classes). If you want to move up, you 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. Attend an ESL class schedule planning session with a counselor. You can make an appointment upon completion of your ESL assessment.

We offer ESL assessments on campus and online via ZOOM.​ The next ESL assessment cycle will start in April 2023.

1. ESL assessment on campus
  • Your 90 minute 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, proof of Covid vaccination and don't forget to wear a mask. 

  Schedule your ESL test appointment on campus. The next appointment cycle will start in April 2023

2. ESL assessment online via Zoom

To take the ESL assessment 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. 

Schedule your ESL test appointment on ZOOM. The next appointment cycle will start in April 2023.

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. 

If no appointments are available, please return. New appointments will be added each week.


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