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English as a Second Language

ESL Academic Writing Courses at IVC

Academic writing courses offered for credit by the ESL Department have been designed specifically for the bilingual student who needs support with academic English to succeed in college-level work and beyond. All non-native English speaking students should take the ESL assessment to be placed in the appropriate ESL or English class. Students who don't need specific ESL support will be placed directly into a native-speaker writing course instead, such as WR 399, WR 201, or WR 1.

ESL Course Sequence to Transfer Level Writing 1

Students who take the ESL assessment can place into any of these levels, including WR 1.

ESL Writing Steps 

  • ESL 370, ESL 301, and ESL 201 are 5-unit courses that focus on academic reading, writing, and critical thinking. ESL 301 and ESL 201 require a 0.5-unit language lab co-requisite, ESL 301L or ESL 201L. Financial aid is available for students who qualify
  • Students need to take the ESL assessment first to be placed in the appropriate level. 
  • Classes usually meet two times a week for 2.5 hours, and most classes are taught in a computer lab so you can practice writing and editing with your instructor during class.
  • At times, non-native English students who need assistance with academic English believe they can quickly take and pass the accelerated English basic skills course (WR 399), but often these students eventually fail or drop out because the language is too difficult and the curriculum does not offer language support.
  • Students should not delay enrolling in the ESL academic writing courses. They will eventually need to write essays and read lots of academic texts in other college classes, so taking an ESL course their first semester of college to learn how to use Academic English properly before writing a 10-page paper in a transfer-level class is a smart idea.
  • Lastly, some students accelerate through the ESL courses because they acquire Academic English quickly. These students are allowed to skip ESL levels. Enroll in your first ESL course and talk to your instructor about possible acceleration.


Rebecca Beck
Co-Chair and Instructor, ESL
O: LA 218

Jeff Wilson
Co-Chair and Instructor, ESL
O: LA 218

Brent Warner
Instructor, ESL
O: A 234

T: 949-451-5510
AESL Center, Room B382