Two students talking outside Science Building


Why Take Credit ESL courses?

SMC's academic ESL courses:

  • teach you to read and write at a college level by developing academic vocabulary, advanced grammar, and reading/writing skills
  • help you succeed in English 1 and other courses
  • prepare you to transfer to a four-year college or university
  • give you opportunities to study with other ESL students from around the world in a safe and friendly atmosphere

SMC's ESL professors:

  • have special professional training in teaching students whose native language is not English
  • are experts in language acquisition, second language teaching, and linguistics
  • speak other languages and many have taught and/or studied abroad
  • are a diverse group of experienced and well-qualified individuals who are dedicated to helping students achieve their academic, professional, and personal language learning goals

Which ESL class should I take?

The ESL Department offers a wide variety of courses that can be divided into core courses and support courses. There are four levels in the ESL Credit Program: ESL 10G/10W, ESL 11A, ESL 19A, & ESL 19B. The course level you should start at depends on a variety of factors, such as how long you have studied English and your experience living or spending time in an English-speaking environment.

Santa Monica College uses an ESL Guided Self-Placement process to help you determine which core course is right for you. The ESL Guided Self-Placement is a part of the SMC enrollment process and can be found in the Corsair Connect portal.

In addition to the core classes, the ESL Department offers many support courses to further help you develop your grammar, reading, vocabulary, speaking, and pronunciation skills.

Noncredit ESL Program

In addition to the Credit ESL program, SMC offers Noncredit ESL classes. Noncredit ESL classes are for students:

Noncredit ESL classes are free. They are not for F-1 visa students.

Noncredit Certificates of Competency

How to Enroll


International Students

Students applying with an F1 or F2 Visa


Resident Students

Students attending college for the first time or students who have been away from college for more than 1 year.


Undocumented Students

Students with undocumented status, including Dreamers



ESL Department Chair

Keith Graziadei
Office: Drescher 314D
Phone: (310) 434-8463

ESL Administrative Assistant

Jocelyn Alex
Office:  Drescher 315
Phone: (310) 434-4260

Support the ESL Department through the SMC Foundation.