ESL Level Descriptions

There are 7 levels of instruction, ranging from classes to serve those with no English skills to classes for those with advanced skills. The classes are FREE and classes in all levels are offered in the mornings, afternoons and evenings. There are ESL classes at all San Diego Continuing Education Campuses and at many locations in the community.

You can register for the classes by going to one of our campus ESL assessment centers.

ESL/Beginning Literacy 1

Develop basic language skills needed in classroom and in day-to-day adult situations. Focus on listening and minimal speaking tasks necessary to satisfy routine classroom and social demands and limited work requirements. Introduction to reading and writing skills. For those with little or no literacy in English.

  • Alphabet
  • Numbers
  • Vocabulary words

ESL Beginning Literacy 1 Class Schedule

ESL/Beginning Low 2

Develop greater skills in listening and speaking for basic communication in the classroom, outside the classroom and at work. Expand reading and writing skills, introduction of basic grammar. Must have completed Beginning Literacy or equivalent.

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing – simple forms, sentences
  • Grammar:
    • Commands (Give the book to him.)
    • Pronouns (he, she, they, I my, his, her)
    • Simple present tense (I go to school.)
    • Present continuous ( I am studying English)
    • Simple Past ( I went to school.)
    • Future (I am going to buy a car.)
    • Can/can’t (I can speak English.)

ESL Beginning Low 2 Class Schedule

ESL/Beginning High 3

Listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to function satisfactorily in most real-life situations related to immediate needs. Must have completed Beginning Low 2 or equivalent.

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing – forms, notes, series of sentences, paragraph
  • Pronunciation
  • Grammar:
    • Review of present, present continuous and future with “going to” questions and answers
    • Future tense with “will”
    • Introduction of have to, should, may, must would
    • Prepositions (in, on, at, next to, between)

ESL Beginning High 3 Class Schedule

ESL/Intermediate Low 4

Refine skills needed in conversations beyond survival needs. Function independently in most familiar situations and use appropriate language in routine social situations. Must have completed Beginning High 3 or equivalent.

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing – notes, 2-3 paragraphs, short letters, applications
  • Pronunciation
  • Grammar:
    • Review of present, past, and future tenses, modals (can, should, have to, etc)
    • Present perfect (I have lived here for two years.)
    • Present perfect continuous (I have been studying English for 2 months.)
    • Past continuous (I was sleeping when the phone rang.)
    • Future conditional – (If I have time, I will _____.)
    • Comparative (Los Angeles is bigger than San Diego.)
    • Infinitives and gerunds (I want to get a job. I enjoy watching TV.)

ESL Intermediate Low 4 Class Schedule

ESL/Intermediate High 5

Skills needed to function effectively in familiar and unfamiliar social situations and familiar work situations. Communication needed to discuss/interpret cultural differences and use English to solve problems outside the class. Must have completed Intermediate High 4 or equivalent.

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Pronunciation
  • Writing – short essays or series of paragraphs, reports, letters
  • Grammar:
    • Review of verb tenses in levels 1- 4 and review of present conditional
    • Difference between past tense and present perfect tense
    • Comparatives and Superlatives (better, best, more expensive, most expensive)
    • Past perfect (I had finished my work when you called.)
    • Conditional unreal – (if I had time, I would _____)
    • Reported speech – (He said that he was married.)
    • Verbs + prepositions (talk about, listen to, interested in)
    • Adjective clauses (The man who was wearing the black pants took the book.)

ESL Intermediate High 5 Class Schedule

ESL/Advanced Low 6

Fluency and communication skills. Self-monitor effectively when using basic grammatical structure and introduction to more complex structures. U.S. cultural values and thinking patterns are introduced through discussions, readings and writing. Must have completed Intermediate High 5 or equivalent.

  • Conversation and oral presentations
  • Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • American culture
  • Writing – essays, letters, reports
  • Pronunciation
  • Research on the internet
  • Grammar:
    • Review of grammar from levels 2 - 5
    • Modals in the past – (I would have bought the car if I had had the money.)
    • Past conditional – (If I had known, I would have told you the news.)
    • Passive voice in the present, past and future (The child was picked up.)
    • Tag questions (You are going, aren’t you?)
    • Reported speech in the past (I told him that I had returned the book.)
    • Use of articles (a, an, the)
    • Adjectives, adverb, and noun clauses (He went to school even though it was raining.)
    • Future perfect (I will have bought a house by 2008)

ESL Advanced Low 6 Class Schedule

ESL/Advanced High 7

Demonstrate knowledge of written and spoken English well enough to pass the TOEFL and/or participate in a college or university program.

ESL Advanced High 7 Class Schedule

  • Conversation and oral presentations
  • Reading
  • Vocabulary
  • American culture
  • Writing – essays, letters, reports
  • Pronunciation
  • Research on the internet
  • Grammar:
    • Review of grammar from levels 2 - 5
    • Modals in the past – (I would have bought the car if I had had the money.)
    • Past conditional – (If I had known, I would have told you the news.)
    • Passive voice in the present, past and future (The child was picked up.)
    • Tag questions (You are going, aren’t you?)
    • Reported speech in the past (I told him that I had returned the book.)
    • Use of articles (a, an, the)
    • Adjectives, adverb, and noun clauses (He went to school even though it was raining.)
    • Future perfect (I will have bought a house by 2008)

ESL Class Schedule

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