Learning how to speak English can be a challenge, so let us help. English as a Second Language (ESL) is a program for non English-speaking students. Our teachers are all highly trained with Master’s degrees. We teach students from many countries and who speak all kinds of languages. Classes are small to ensure plenty of contact with your teachers and fellow students. We use many different teaching materials to fit all learning styles. This program is made to teach students of all levels of fluency.
We have an exciting program. Our classes are based on an innovative curriculum and the instructors use a variety of current methods and techniques. The faculty are all highly-trained with Master’s degrees in the field of TESOL, enthusiasm, dedication to improving the program even more and most importantly, friendly smiles. We are a serious academic ESL program with a fresh, fun approach.
We are growing quickly and attracting international students from many countries around the world, partly because of our prime location in the heart of the California Gold Country close to many famous places such as San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley.
We also have hundreds of resident ESL students from areas of the former Soviet Union, Central and South America, the Middle East and many other areas. Class size is limited to 15 to 28 students, so there is plenty of opportunity for student participation and contact with the instructors.
Our facilities include classrooms equipped with TVs, VCRs and overhead projectors as well as 3 smart classroom with an instructor computer and a projector and internet. We also have two state-of-the-art ESL Computer lab classrooms with nineteen software programs for practicing English language skills. There is Internet access and ESL Internet links with hundreds of Internet activities. Additionally, we are also very proud of the ESL Extensive Reading Collection that has hundreds of books at a range of ability levels. Students can borrow them from the library.
We have a 7-level ESL Program beginning at the Novice (beginner) level and progressing up to the Advanced College level (the equivalent of English 1A or English 101 at most universities). At least one year of ESL adult education is recommended for resident students entering at the novice level. There are 4 classes at most levels: Writing, Grammar, Reading/Vocabulary and Listening/Speaking.
All Sierra College ESL classes are credited college classes of 3 units each. Advanced-level ESL classes have degree and transfer credit for Community Colleges, California State Universities, and private universities and colleges. Advanced ESL writing courses have degree and transfer credit to The University of California (although they do not meet University of California composition requirements). In addition to 3 hours of classroom instruction for each class, there is a 50-minute laboratory class requirement for Grammar, Reading/Vocabulary and Listening/Speaking courses that is completed in one of the ESL Lab classrooms for all levels except 500.
The Writing classes blend explanation and practice with academic and real-world writing tasks that utilize the grammar being studied. The Grammar classes cover the rules, but also how to use the forms in speaking and writing. The Reading/Vocabulary strand emphasizes developing reading and vocabulary skills including prereading strategies, comprehension and reading speed development. Students do a lot of outside reading. The Listening/Speaking courses develop students’ skills and confidence so they can communicate and understand others in all situations from daily life to academic lectures. Class activities include presentations, surveys, skits, speakers and much more.