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English as a Second Language (ESL)


The ESL department offers courses in writing/grammar, reading/vocabulary, and listening/speaking at the low-intermediate to high-advanced levels. Students can also strengthen their language skills in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation through supplemental courses. If you are interested in taking classes at College of San Mateo, please review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page about enrollment.

Check out the flyers below for information about current course offerings and special programs. Students can also reference WebSchedule for the most up-to-date information about courses in ESL and across the college.

Fall 2024 ESL Classes at CSM
ESL 401 Flyer

To find more information about each course in the ESL program, students can click on the course names in the ESL Course Sequence below. Please remember that some courses are not offered every semester.

ESL Course Sequence

Program Skill Levels Grammar & Writing Listening & Speaking Reading & Vocabulary
Level 5
ESL 400
Level 4
ESL 828 ESL 848 ESL 858
Level 3
ESL 827 ESL 847 ESL 857
Level 2
ESL 826 ESL 846 ESL 856
Level 1
Level 1 classes currently only offered at Cañada College

ESL Supplemental  Courses

Program Skill Levels Grammar & Writing Listening & Speaking Reading & Vocabulary
Level 3+
Grammar Review
ESL 898
ESL 888
ESL 887

ESL Lab-Only Courses

Program Skill Levels Grammar & Writing Listening & Speaking Reading & Vocabulary
Multiple Levels ESL 908
ESL 907
ESL 849 ESL 895
ESL 897

Lab-Only Course FAQs

  • An independent study, self-paced class designed to meet individual student needs
  • Assignments are tailored to each student's level and interests.
  • Courses are for 0.5 to 1.0 unit and use Pass/No Pass grading.
  • Students may complete work in the ESL Center or Online.
  • These are open entry/exit courses, which means students may enroll after the semester begins and up until the end of Week 10. Students do not need an add code for these courses.

Please check WebSchedule to see what courses are offered during the semester you plan to attend.

  • There are no scheduled meeting times for these classes.
  • Students create their own schedule and work at their own pace, but are required to meet with an instructor at regular intervals throughout the semester.
  • If you are enrolled in a lab-only course and the semester has already started, please email the ESL Center immediately at
During the semester, students are expected to complete a minimum of 24 hours of assignments and appointments for each 0.5 unit they’re enrolled in.
No, the ESL Center will provide students with all the necessary materials.
  • All levels of ESL students, including those who have completed the ESL course sequence but who need additional guidance and practice on one or two skills
  • Students who are looking for a lower cost option
  • Students who need a flexible schedule