ESL program offers four courses

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Coordinator said it takes time to learn to speak and write English well.

By Huguette Buduri

The center for English language learning is a program that provides an opportunity for international students, immigrants and other English language learners to become more proficient in English.

International students have to apply for a student visa in their country of origin to be accepted at this college, Anna Budzinski English-as-a-second language coordinator, said Oct. 4.

The challenges they face in learning English are that most students have families, jobs and little time to study, she said.

Also many students speak their native language at home and often at work, she said.

The center offers four levels of English-as-a-second language courses.

These are designed to help those who are not fluent in English, reading and writing so they can be ready for college-level courses when they are finished with the this program, Budzinski said.

Although the courses are offered at this college, they do not count toward a degree and transfer only to other Alamo Colleges, she said.

ESL courses are taken mostly by students from Mexico, South Korea, Europe and other international students, she said.

Others are Iraq and Iran refugees and residents who have not learned the English language.

“It is important for them to take the ESL course because they are not ready to read, write and speak English,” she said.

For example, students who take ESL classes earn about three credits per class, and they can take as many classes as they want each semester.

The students are eager to learn and use the English language with their peers in the classroom, she said.

Students also learn grammar for reading, writing, speaking and understanding American English for social, professional and academic purposes, she said.

Enrollment this semester is 850 students. In fall 2017, 900 students were enrolled.

The program has five full-time professors and seven to eight adjuncts.

Budzinski said that after taking the four courses students have an understanding of the language structure and can do exercises.

“They still make grammatical errors in speaking and in writing,” she said. “It really takes time and effort to speak and write well.”

College classes require students, to have two ESL classes. They are ENGA 0351, Composition and Grammar, and ENGA 0353, Reading and Vocabulary.

Students need to pass these classes with a B to be college-ready. In case students do not pass with a B, students will need to take these classes again and pass them with a C.

If students are interested in information about the center for English language learning, they can visit the web at or go by her office in Room 122 of Oppenheimer Center.

For more advising, call Budzinski at 210-486-0971 or email


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