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English as a Second Language (ESL)

Pima Community College’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program, also known as Intensive Academic English, is for non-native speakers who want to improve general, professional, or academic skills in English communication, reading and writing. Completion of the ESL sequence will prepare students for college-level English writing and reading courses and serve as a first step toward any degree or certificate program.

Pima's Intensive Academic English for Non-Native Speakers program offers courses in Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Classes are 14 weeks in Fall and Spring terms and 8 weeks in the Summer term.

Pima offers four levels of academic English courses:

  1. High Beginning
  2. Intermediate
  3. High Intermediate
  4. Advanced

Each level is made up of three classes focusing on these core skills:

  • Writing and Grammar
  • Reading and Vocabulary
  • Oral Communication

Students test into the appropriate level for their abilities.

Level 1: Intensive English - High Beginning

ESL Core Courses:

  • ESL060 WG: Writing and Grammar (4 credits)
  • ESL060 RV: Reading and Vocabulary (4 credits)
  • ESL060 CM: Oral Communication (4 credits)

Level 2: Intensive English - Intermediate

ESL Core Courses:

  • ESL070 WG: Writing and Grammar (4 credits)
  • ESL070 RV: Reading and Vocabulary (4 credits)
  • ESL070 CM: Oral Communication (4 credits)


  • ESL070 PR: Intermediate Pronunciation (2 credits)

Level 3: College Bridge - High Intermediate

ESL Core Courses:

  • ESL080 WG: Writing and Grammar (4 credits)
  • ESL080 RV: Reading and Vocabulary (4 credits)
  • ESL080 CM: Oral Communication (4 credits)


  • ESL080 PR: Advanced Pronunciation (2 credits)

Level 4: College Bridge - Advanced

ESL Core Courses:

  • ESL088 WG: Writing and Grammar (4 credits)
  • ESL088 RV: Reading and Vocabulary (4 credits)
  • ESL088 CM: Oral Communication (4 credits) 

College-level courses

The ESL courses listed above prepare students for College-level courses:

  • WRT090: English Composition Fundamentals
  • WRT101: English Composition
  • WRT101S/SE: English Composition Integrated Studies
  • REA091: Reading Improvement II
  • REA112: Critical Reading
  • Courses for Academic Programs, Degrees, and Occupational Certificates

Contact Information

For information about taking Intensive Academic English courses (ESL), please contact an ESL Advisor at or call the Communications Division at  (520) 206-7045.

Herendida Ruiz Lagarda


  "Enjoy and learn from all the little moments in your ESL classes because after finishing the program, you will miss being part of this family. And remember, having confidence in yourself gives you new opportunities." ~ Herendida Ruiz Lagarda, Mexico

Hoang Nguyen


"Taking ESL classes at Pima gave me great experiences, as I have not only developed my four English skills but also made friends from around the world. ESL classes helped move me from beginner to advanced level and helped me build up my vocabulary. I am thankful to all the professors and employees of the ESL department." ~ Hoang Nguyen, Vietnam  

Wassim Khawam


  "I am one year away from graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, but when I first started at Pima, I did not understand a word of English. ESL classes definitely accelerated my process of learning the language and helped me in my personal life by offering me the environment and community of like people who just started their life in this country." ~ Wassim Khawam, Syria

Ariane Higuera Pierre Noel


"I have studied in the ESL program at Pima Community College for two years, and I have to say that it is one of the better experiences of my life. I learned a lot, not just about English, but also about other cultures around the world. I recommend the ESL program to any person who wants to learn English in a deep way." ~ Ariane Higuera Pierre Noel, Mexico  

Nazli Guvenc


  "The instructors in the Pima ESL program are fantastic! They always put your learning first. They try to help you in everything they can. After I complete the ESL program, I want to start my degree in Supply Chain Management. I wish you the best luck in the Pima ESL program." ~ Nazli Guvenc, Turkey

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