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Assessment for Placement

ESLL Assessment

After careful review, we have upgraded our ESLL assessment process, and have made changes to the English as a Second Language Learner Guided Self-Placement.

Through the ESLL guided self-placement process you will:

  • Think about what you can do in English now
  • Complete self-diagnostics, review sample course material for different ESLL levels offered at Foothill College, and self-reflect
  • Choose an ESLL level to enroll in based on your self-reflection




Once you self-place into the ESLL level that you believe is right for you, this will service as your ESLL level placement and can only be completed once.

The goal of guided self-placement is for you to decide what course is best for you based on your self-assessment. However, if you are still not sure which course to choose, it is recommended to meet with a college counselor to help you decide.

Please take the Guided Self-Placement for Language Arts seriously as it will determine your placement and can only be done one time.

Request to take the ESLL Guided Self-Placement at

English 1A and ESLL Course Comparison

English Composition Engl 1A or English for Second Language Learners Courses






Focus on rhetorical analysis. Students will read a minimum of 2 book lengths and additional readings. Students will analyze college level text. Comprehend an author's reasoning and main points. Draw inferences and draw comparisons to other works. Focus on academic reading and summary skills. Courses designed to meet the needs of English language learners. Students will develop basic-to-advanced reading skills, such as comprehending texts holistically, as well as close reading to identify and analyze argumentative strategies used by authors.




Focus on writing compositions. Students will write a total of at least 6000 word thesis-based compositions. Students will focus on the writing process, drafting, revision, and editing. Include paraphrasing, synthesizing, quotations and documenting (MLA) Focus on developing writing skills and compositions. Students will learn and practice basic-to-advanced elements of college-level, academic writing. Focus on organization, paragraph development, and multi-page compositions on culturally relevant topics.




Focus on editing and proofreading. Students should have command of English grammar to editing/proof read compositions, and be able to use and understand advanced vocabulary. Focus on grammar and vocabulary. Students will review and improve basic-to-advanced grammar. Focus on developing clear and concise paragraphs composed of varied sentence structures and academic vocabulary.



Focus on discussions and class presentations. Students will participate in group discussions, Socratic seminars, and create presentations to be presented in front of the whole clas Focus on developing oral communication skills. Students will learn and practice academic speaking, listening and strategies for class discussion.

ESLL Course Levels & Descriptions

ESLL Level 6



The techniques and practice of expository and argumentative writing based on critical reading and thinking. Analytical reading of authentic, college-level expository and persuasive texts intended for a native speaker audience, chosen to represent a broad spectrum of opinions and ideas, writing styles, and cultural experiences and perspectives. Fulfills the Foothill College reading and composition requirement for the AA/AS degree. 

ESLL Level 5

ESLL 125 + ESLL 249

ESLL 125 Composition & Reading and ESLL 249 Advanced Reading are designed to help students prepare for English 1A. Students will receive explicit instruction in critical reading and composition skills. These courses do not fulfill degree regquirements for English.

ESLL Level 4

ESLL 236 + ESLL 237

ESLL 236 Advanced Grammar and ESLL 237 Basic Composition Skills are designed to teach students advanced English grammar and focuses on college level reading and writing skills. Students will also produce short multi-paragraph compositions.

ESLL Level 3

ESLL 226 + ESLL 227

ESLL 226 High-intermediate Grammar and ESLL 227 High-intermediate Reading Skills are designed to teach students English grammar and develop reading comprehension skills & strategies. These courses prepare students for pre-college leve reading and writing.


assessment staff

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Testing & Assessment Center

(650) 949-7743

Student Services Building 8200 Room 8212