Center for English Language Learning

Study English as a Second Language (ESL) at the Center for English Language Learning (CELL).

The Center for English Language Learning at San Antonio College provides an opportunity for international students, immigrants, professionals, and other English Language Learners (ELLs) to study in a dynamic learning community and acquire or improve essential English skills. CELL offers English language credit (ESLA and ENGA) and noncredit (ESL) classes to help students learn to read, write, speak, and understand American English for social, professional, and academic purposes.

Taking ESL classes can assist with achieving goals such as:

  • A college degree
  • More pay
  • Better job opportunities
  • Job promotions
  • New skills
  • Improvement in day-to-day communication
  • Completion certificate for English Proficiency

Credit and Non-credit Information


A. English as Second Language for Academics (ESLA, credit)

  • Intensive courses (Levels 1 - 4): Speaking and Listening, Writing, Grammar, and Reading and Vocabulary.
  • Purpose: Prepare students for advanced courses (ENGA) or to improve communication skills in English for professional careers.

B. English for Academic Purposes (ENGA, credit)

  • Intensive courses: Grammar and Composition, and Reading and Vocabulary.
  • Purpose: Prepare students for college or university classes.
  • Requirements: (1) completion of ESLA or ESL level 4 or ENGA course placement testing, (2) *College readiness (TSI) exam.

Apply for ESLA (credit) classes if you:

  • Want to improve reading, writing, grammar, and listening/speaking skills for college-level courses.
  • Have an F-1 Visa.
  • Have financial aid.
  • Are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who wishes to continue your education at SAC, transfer to university programs, or pursue professional careers.

English as a Second Language (ESL, non-credit)

  • Intensive courses (Levels 1-4): Speaking and Listening, Writing, Grammar, and Reading and Vocabulary.
  • Purpose: To improve communication skills in English for professional careers.

Apply for ESL (non-credit) classes if you:

  • Have to pay out-of-state tuition.
  • Have any kind of visa except an F-1 Visa.
  • Want to improve English skills for training or employment opportunities.
  • Plan to take ESLA after they have in their possession, documents and/or evidence of a high school diploma, residency, etc.


What will I learn?
  • Listening - Understand spoken American English in diverse situations.
  • Reading - Read written English with fluency and understanding.
  • Speaking - Learn pronunciation and to speak using Standard American English for work, career goals, home, and the community.
  • Writing - Write English using clear grammatical structures.
  • Grammer (The foundation of language learning) - Designed to complement speaking and writing skills.

View a complete and detailed list of what you will learn:

Student Learning Outcomes

What is the typical class schedule?
  • Four levels from beginners to advanced (ESLA/ESL).
  • College preparation classes in 1) composition and grammar and 2) reading and vocabulary in English for Academic Purposes (ENGA).
  • 8 weeks.
  • Flexible schedules: day classes.
  • Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday classes.
  • Each class is 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Each skill (Reading, Writing, Grammar, Speaking, and Listening) is a separate class.
  • Lab may be required for some classes.
  • Schedule of Class
What are the additional services?
  • Free access to the computer laboratories.
  • Free tutoring at the Writing Center, English, Reading, Student Mega Lab, and Student Learning Assistance Center (SLAC) Lab.
  • Workshops and support groups include reading circles, a conversation club, pronunciation practice, and specialized workshops/seminars designed for students’ needs.
  • Computer laboratory with e-mail and Internet access, computer assignments. 
  • Sports and athletics: intramural sports, gymnasium, tennis courts, and track. 
  • Student organizations and clubs include the International Student Association (ISA).
  • International Student Services
How do I apply?

CELL offers complete services for new and returning ESL Students. The Getting Started process includes information about classes, filling out an application, taking a placement test, registering for courses, and advising for other student questions and concerns. CELL is located in Oppenheimer Academic Center (OC) 119. The International Students Office is located on the second floor in OC 220.

Vision, Mission, and Goals

  • The vision of San Antonio College is to be recognized nationally for student success and best practices. As part of that vision, CELL provides a vibrant learning environment for ELLs to prepare for success in their academic and/or career choices.

  • The mission of CELL is to provide an opportunity for ELLs to study in a dynamic learning community in order to acquire essential English language and cultural adaptation skills necessary to meet academic, professional, and personal goals.

  • To provide high-quality, comprehensive instruction for ELLs, to prepare ELLs to transition to and be successful in college-level classes, and to develop the communication skills of ELLs to work in a diverse global society.

Accreditation Information

CELL at SAC has national accreditation from the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation 

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Leading by Advancing Standards


Contact Us

Oppenheimer Academic Center (OC) 119
(210) 486-0965

Office Hours:
Monday and Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
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