The Phoenix College ESL Program: Now Registering Students for Spring Classes

Phoenix College ESL Program

The award-winning English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) Program at Phoenix College is now enrolling students for classes that start in January 2019.  As the first college of the Maricopa Community College District, Phoenix College offers a unique ESL Program that focuses on reality-based survival English to help students navigate daily life.  With a variety of courses in grammar, listening and speaking, reading, and writing, students at all levels (from basic to advance) can gain new skills to improve and communicate effectively in real-world settings.

Having academic courses that provide students with various opportunities to practice real-time language skills not only helps the students to build confidence but also increases language proficiency.  Phoenix College ESL student, Jorge Hernandez agrees. 

“I think my classes gave me a voice,” Hernandez said.  “I wasn’t able to say anything when I first came to the U.S. from Chihuahua, Mexico.  My classes and experience as a volunteer in the Hannelly Center pushed me out of my comfort zone and gave me the preparation I needed in my other academic classes.”

 Students who enroll in ESL courses at Phoenix College are:

  • People who want to get a better job
  • Parents who want to communicate with teachers, friends, and neighbors
  • Immigrants and refugees who want to learn about American culture, traditions, and customs
  • Students preparing to continue their education at the university level
  • International students
  • Students preparing for occupational programs such as healthcare, culinary, media arts, and childhood education
  • Anyone who would like to build their confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing English

With small, personalized classes and outstanding student support services, the Phoenix College ESL Program is a great option for English language learners.  Additionally, with supportive faculty and staff who are experts in the field, ESL students truly encounter a unique learning experience.

“Since I started taking classes at Phoenix College, my English has improved 40 percent,” said Alba Penarete from Bogota, Colombia.  “When I was younger I always dreamed about the possibility of going to college.  I love spending time at the college…talking with my instructors and meeting new people.  My goal is to study Human Resources at ASU.”

Martha Castroloudono, who has been in the United States for three years moved here from Cali, Colombia.  “It is hard learning a new language, but I feel like I’m learning, and I understand.  I want to learn English so that I can be a nurse,” she said.

Castroloudono especially likes working with the student success specialist assigned to her class.  Her student success specialist, Ana Maria Dikuasa Nguema is an international student at Phoenix College.  She works with several ESL faculty to provide additional assistance to ESL students in the classroom. 

“My experience as a student success specialist has been pretty amazing.  I love the environment of the classrooms; being surrounded by multi-cultural students and great teachers help me understand that language acquisition process is different for each person,” Dikuasa Nguema said.      

In addition to having extra support in the classroom, ESL students at Phoenix College can also participate in service learning opportunities on campus.  Students can volunteer in high traffic areas on campus, like the library, registration area, and tutoring.  These opportunities allow students to practice their English in real-world settings.    

“Allowing ESL students to practice real-time language skills in volunteer campus positions is an efficient way for them to increase vocabulary and learn a vernacular language,” said Jeff Eldot, ESL Program Director.  “Facilitating the students’ natural use of language in context enhances the quality of their educational experience by aligning these volunteer conversational jobs with classroom instruction.”

Classes start as low as $85 per credit hour, and financial aid and payment plans are available. 


For more information about classes and registration, please call (602) 285-7375 or visit an ESL advisor at the Phoenix College Hannelly Center located at 1202 West Thomas Road in Phoenix (Thomas Road and 15th Ave.).  Program and course information are also available online at

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.