Multi-Ethnic students group

ESL Program

For over forty years, College of Marin has been addressing the needs of Marin County's English learners through its high-quality English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs. Through free General ESL classes, Academic ESL classes, and a fee-based Intensive English Program, the College has helped countless Marin residents and international students from over 100 countries fulfill their educational, career and personal goals. To find the best class level, we assess your English skills before you enter any of these programs.

General ESL:  Beginning to Intermediate ESL Classes 

Beginning to intermediate noncredit ESL classes (levels 10 to 40) take a communicative and integrated skills approach. Students practice the fundamentals of grammar and vocabulary for every day and employment situations through listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. These classes help students improve their English so that they can communicate in their everyday life, get a better job, help their children in school, and prepare for citizenship. We also offer vocational ESL classes for childcare workers and students who would like to work in customer service.

Academic ESL: Intermediate to Advanced ESL Classes 

The highest level in General ESL (ESLN 40) prepares students to move on to the intermediate and advanced level classes (levels 50 to 80) which are more academic in focus. These classes can be taken for credit or noncredit. They are more focused – with separate classes for grammar and writing, reading and vocabulary, and listening and speaking and pronunciation. Students who progress through the higher-level sequence eventually take college-level English and work towards career certificates, degrees, or transfer to a university.

For More Information

On the left side of this page you will find links to information regarding the application processes, the classes offered, the schedules and other frequently asked questions (FAQs). All new students must take the ESL Placement Test at a Noncredit ESL Success Workshop or at the Assessment and Testing Office.

  • Beginning to Intermediate level students (levels 10 to 40) should follow the General ESL Information.
  • Intermediate to Advanced students (levels 50 to 80) should look at the information under Academic ESL. Please see the application process in the Academic ESL.
  • ESL Sequence of Classes Chart  

New!!!   Noncredit Student Application (NC CCC Apply)

All new noncredit ESL students and students returning after an absence of a year or more must fill out the online Noncredit CCCApply. Go to Apply for Admission on the College of Marin website and click on "Apply for Noncredit ESL".

Note:  There are two parts – creating an account and applying to College of Marin. Make sure you continue after your account set-up is complete.

Please see instructions for Beginning to Intermediate level students here.  (En español)

Please see instructions for Intermediate to Advanced level students here.


The ESL Orientation and Placement Workshops include an orientation, a placement test, and help to register for classes. All ESL students—beginning, intermediate and advanced students should come to a workshop to determine their level of English.

Los Talleres de Colocación para Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL) incluyen la inducción, examen de colocación, y se provee asistencia de matriculación en las clases. Todo estudiante—niveles principiante, intermedio y avanzado debe asistir a un taller para determinar su nivel de inglés.

Next ESL Orientation and Placement Workshops before the Spring 2020 semester begins:

  • Monday, December 16, 2019 from 6 pm to 9 pm
  • Tuesday, January 7, 2020 from 6 pm to 9 pm
  • Saturday, Janary 11, 2020 from 9 am to 12 pm
  • Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 6 pm to 9 pm
NOTE:  All workshops are located in Academic Center Room AC 255 on the Kentfield Campus.

Flier in English (pdf)   

Flier in Spanish (pdf)     

Sign up for one of the  ESL Orientation and Placement Workshops above.

Spring 2020 Semester

  • Saturday, January 18th, 2020 to May 22nd, 2020
  • Spring 2020 Saturday classes begin on January 18th and end on May 22nd.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Monday, January 20, 2020
  • Lincoln Day (President): Friday, February 14, 2020
  • Washington Day (President): Monday, February 17, 2020
  • Spring Break:  March 16th to March 21st