Academic Certificate in English as a Second Language (ESL)

Division of Humanities & Bilingual Studies — Curriculum Code: 3315

Will Earn Upon Program Completion: Academic Certificate
Why major in English as a Second Language (ESL)?

The ESL academic certificate program provides an opportunity for students to enhance their reading, writing, speaking, and listening English skills in order to participate in further academic coursework. As part of this program, students will take core ESL reading and writing requirements and choose from a variety of elective courses, which expand their language proficiency in other skill areas. Students will also complete at least two required English courses, which may be applied towards an associate’s degree or another certificate. This program is ideal for students who are primarily interested in an advanced two-semester immersion in English, as well as for those who intend to pursue an associate’s degree. Students earning this certificate will be required to take the majority of their courses at the Main Campus.

If I major in ESL, can I transfer to an upper-division college or university?

All four-year colleges have their own admissions criteria and testing process. However, completion of ENG 101, a requirement of this academic certificate, at ECC will most likely indicate that you can transfer to a four-year school at the freshman level, if not higher. Please note that it is generally in a student’s best interest to complete an associate’s degree program prior to transfer.

Are there any requirements I must satisfy before I start taking courses in my major?

Based on your placement test scores, you may have to take developmental courses in reading and/or English before taking the curriculum courses in your major.

How long will it take for me to complete this program?

If you do not need developmental coursework and you register for an average of 15 credits each semester, you can complete this academic certificate in one year. Part-time students can complete this program in two years.

Where should I direct specific questions about this program?

Call the Division at (973)877-3285.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:
  • Read, comprehend and critically analyze college-level texts written in English;
  • Express opinions about relevant freshman-level texts and topics in spoken and written English;
  • Comprehend college-level lectures covering a variety of content areas;
  • Organize and effectively present ideas in written format as expected of college students in an American academic setting; and
  • Participate fully in the academic and cultural life of the College.


Written & Oral Communications (9 credits)
ENG 101 (3 credits)
ENG 108 (3 credits)
ENG 109 (3 credits)


ESL Core Courses (6-12 credits depending on placement test results):
ESL 103 ESL Writing & Communications II (pending placement) (3 credits)
ESL 104 ESL Reading & Communications II (pending placement) (3 credits)
ESL 105 ESL Writing & Communications III (pending placement) (3 credits)
ESL 106 ESL Reading & Communications III (pending placement) (3 credits)

ESL Electives: (6-12 credits):
Choose from the remaining major requirement courses:
ESL 100, ESL 108, ESL 109, ESL 110, ESL 111, or ESL 112. (6-12 credits total)


Choose one free elective (one 3-credit course)


Total Credits Required for Degree: 30

First Semester
ESL 105 ESL Writing & Communication III (3 credits)
ESL 106 ESL Reading & Communication III (3 credits)
ENG 108 Voice & Diction (3 credits)
ESL elective (3 credits)
ESL elective (3 credits)

Second Semester
Free elective (3 credits)
ESL elective (3 credits)
ESL elective (3 credits)
ENG 101 College Composition (3 credits)
ENG 109 Effective Speech (3 credits)


(1) This plan assumes the completion of all required developmental courses in reading and English as well as other pre-requisites and co-requisites for some of the courses, as listed in the Course Descriptions section.

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