English as a Second Language (ESL) Department

Saddleback College's ESL Department has many courses for non-native English speakers. Our classes are for students who plan to take college classes and also for those who want to improve their overall English ability. We offer classes at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, and college level. Our unique curriculum allows you to create a program that meets your needs.  Classes are offered mornings, afternoons, evenings, and online.


Our Courses

Our "Core Courses" are our Multi-skills courses, which focus on all language skills (reading, writing, grammar pronunciation, vocabulary, speaking, and listening) at beginning, intermediate, advanced levels. Multi-skills courses meet six hours week.

Our "Elective Courses" help you improve specific language skills, and they meet three hours a week. We offer Writing, Conversation, Pronunciation, Grammar, Listening and Note-taking, American Literature, Writing for Work, Idioms and Expressions, and more. As a student, you can select your own courses to meet your specific needs. Please look at our ESL Course Sequence to get an overview of our courses.

Our full-semester ESL courses are 16.6 weeks long:

Click here for the ESL Class Schedule

(Scroll down to "ESL.")

How Much Will Classes Cost?

Saddleback's ESL classes are different from classes at almost every college in the state because you can choose to take classes either for "credit" or for "non-credit" (0-units). If you take a class for non-credit, then your class will be completely free except for a Health Fee, required by the college, as well as books and materials that the course may require.

The "credit" sections require tuition of $46 a unit, and our ESL classes are either 3 units or 6 units. This means that "credit"courses are $138 for a 3-unit course, or $276 for a 6-unit course. Credit sections have an "A" after their "ticket number" in the class schedule. Many students choose credit sections because they want to get a grade, or they want a record of their work at the college. In addition, they may choose credit sections because they might need credit classes to get financial aid, get insurance, or to fulfill a prerequisite (a requirement for another course).

The "non-credit" sections have a "D" after their ticket number, and students do NOT have to pay the $46 per unit tuition, so the classes are free except for the Health Fee, books and materials, and parking (if needed). Students may enroll in non-credit sections if they don't need college credit or proof of their work at the college.

Other Fees
Health Fee: $21 - Spring 2021
Parking: $80 a year
(if you drive a car to school)
Textbooks and School Supplies: The cost of textbooks will depend on the courses you enroll in. Each teacher might select different textbooks, and the cost of the textbooks is determined by the publisher. In the Class Schedule, click on "Book info" for each course to find the exact texts (including prices) that are required for each class.

For more information about the costs at Saddleback College, please go to the Fees Page. If you are an international student on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, please contact the International Student Office for more information about requirements. 

How Do I Sign Up for Classes?

Students who wish to enroll in ESL courses must first apply to Saddleback College. It does not cost anything to do this. Click here for more details:  Getting Started: How Do I Sign Up for ESL Classes?

If you are a New Student at Saddleback College, please click here for more information and instructions for applying to the school. On the right side of the page, you will see links for more information.

Saddleback College has Spanish and Farsi-speaking ESL Counselors to help you register for the right classes. You can call (949) 348-6186 or (949)582-4569 for more information, or email a counselor:

Canvas and ConferZoom

Our ESL Instructors use Canvas and ConferZoom to share class information and keep in contact with students.



Our ESL faculty consists of instructors who have acquired at least a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages or a related field. Others are published authors, have acquired a Ph.D. in the field, or frequently present at conferences; all have the desire to help you learn English and have the resources and passion to do so!


ESL Career Flyer

ESL Career Flyer

With experienced teachers, exciting and informative classes, and skills to help you expand your work and personal opportunities, ESL provides a supportive place for you to grow linguistically and culturally, learning from others as much as they will learn from you. For more information, contact Julie McGirr, whose information is given below.
ESL Career Flyer









Julie McGirr redman Julie McGirr

ESL Department Chair
Office: BGS 303
Email: Contact Julie McGirr