Orange Coast College’s Adult Education program is offering free, noncredit English Language Learning classes to help immigrant students in the community better their English skills and pass naturalization tests.  

Classes range from beginner courses to advanced courses that students can take to improve their English skills for school, work or getting involved in the community.  

Two citizenship classes are also being offered for the first time starting this semester, which students will receive certification for completing.

“The program was designed to offer three different paths based on student goals — academic readiness, workplace preparation and community engagement.” Sara Head, director of Adult Education said in an email. “Classes are noncredit and tuition-free, however students are responsible for purchasing textbooks.”

There are 15 noncredit English Language Learning classes being offered this semester.  Language classes are available at all times of the day to ensure that students with jobs or families have the opportunity to participate.  

The first of two citizenship preparation classes will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings this semester and will not require a social security number or California residency to attend.

English as a second language instructor Kathleen Franz said the two citizenship courses offered this fall will work together with courses in the spring.

“This fall is the first that focuses on the reading and writing skills, and then next spring focuses on listening and speaking and what would happen at the oral interview,” she said.

Franz worked with fellow ESL instructor Marely Cervantes to develop 22 new courses for the program.

Dean of Literature and Languages Michael Mandelkern said the program is in its transitional period and he hopes it will continue to grow and expand.

“I think a lot of what we do is geared toward economic development, helping people have better lives — increasing their earning potential.” Mandelkern said. “I mean, I think there’s a humanistic element to the citizenship program that does not have to do with money and it’s a humanistic thing to help people, to help them become Americans.”

For more information on how to enroll in free English Language Learning classes, visit www.orangecoastcollege.edu/adulteducation or call (714) 432-7897.    

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