COVID-19 vaccine/positive test reporting required for on-campus classes. Masks strongly recommended and may be required in some offices and classrooms. See details here

subpage flowers image

English for Second Language Learners

ESLL Non-Credit Program

Our non-credit ESL courses listed as NCEL are free of charge with no registration fee and designed to help immigrant students develop their general ability to understand, speak, read and write English.Foothill College offers five levels of academic English for non-native speakers, including  non-credit levels 1-2 if you need practice in English to communicate better at home, at work, or in the community.

Course Selection

Take any of the the following to develop or improve your English:

  • Advanced Beginning ESL
  • Intermediate ESL
  • Advanced Vocabulary Development for Reading & Writing

See Current Class Schedule

How to Sign Up

  1. Apply for admission to Foothill College
  2. Register for an NCEL course in MyPortal.

ESLL Non-Credit Courses Sequence

All noncredit courses may be repeated as many times as needed.

See course catalog for detailed descriptions.

See schedule of classes for courses offered this and upcoming term.

2 NCEL 421 Intermediate English as a Second Language I
2 NCEL 422 Intermediate English as a Second Language II
2 NCEL 423 Intermediate English as a Second Language III
1 NCEL 411 Advanced-Beginning English as a Second Language I
1 NCEL 412Advanced-Beginning English as a Second Language I
1 NCEL 413 Advanced-Beginning English as a Second Language I

What Our Faculty and Students Say

I love that we have non-credit ESL classes because it really does make learning English more affordable. Not only that, but students in our non-credit classes make lifelong friends with classmates from all over the world. It really is a fun place to learn, and it makes me feel good when students discover a program at Foothill that makes them excited about learning — beyond learning English!  

– Instructor Amy Sarver


I am a housekeeping supervisor in one hotel. This is my first quarter here at Foothill College and I want to continue with these classes because it’s very important to me to find a very good job.  And, I want to take credit classes in the future. I am very thankful for this program.

– ESL Student Mariana Flores



  • Non-credit level 1 and 2 courses do not have any prerequisites, but it is advisable to have knowledge of some basic English.
  • Level 1 is for students who already speak English with conversational ability.

Students who have never studied English or do not speak English with conversational ability should enroll in ESL courses offered by the Adult Education departments of their local high school districts.

Find information for programs by selecting a district near you.

  1. Mountain View-Los Altos Adult Education
  2. Sunnyvale-Cupertino Adult and Community Education
  3. Santa Clara Adult Education
  4. Palo Alto Adult School

ESLL Noncredit Class Schedule

For-Credit ESLL program

info sessionThursday, August 18, 5:30 p.m.
Click here to register!

David McCormick

We're Here to Help!

David McCormick,  ESLL

placeholder image

Amy Sarver, ESLL