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English as Second Language (ESL) Learning

There are different places where you and/or your spouse/partner can take free English as Second Language (ESL) classes and English classes on the Caltech campus. There are also other ESL classes within the Caltech area, some of them are at a reasonable price.

English as Second Language classes at Caltech are intended for Caltech students enrolled in a degree program (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.), but visitors, post-doctoral scholars, staff, (and sometimes dependents of community members when space permits, can attend classes.


Caltech International Spouses Club and Caltech Women’s Club offer different types of classes on the Caltech campus.Depending on your level, you may join one of them.
All classes are free.

English as Second Language and Conversation Class 
Mondays I 4:30 - 6:00pm I 195 S. Hill Avenue (walking distance from Caltech). It's a grey house, back door.
Come and learn English grammar, vocabulary, comprehension and pronunciation.This class promotes friendship, fosters community and provides internationals a place to gather and practice English in a relaxed setting led by Andy Pearce. It is free and open to all internationals connected to the Caltech and JPL community. Participants may also sign up for a one-on-one "conversation partner." Children are welcome. 
Email Sabina Ghimire  or Andy Pearce for more information.

Conversation English Group 
Tuesdays I 10:00 - 11:00 AM I Olive walk (grey tables).
This is a casual get together at the Red Door Café at Caltech. Any member of the Caltech and JPL community is welcome to come and practice their English speaking skills, ask any English or cultural questions, and get to know other members of the community. Just look for a table outside the Red Door Café with the Caltech Women’s Club (CWC) sign on it. Two long term members of the CWC will be trading off leading this group every other week. Fritzie Culick, a former music teacher and music shop owner, and Debbie Bradbury, a former member of the development staff at Caltech, will be the leaders. No need to register in advance, just show up. Email Fritzie Culik for more information.

Literature-Based English Conversation Class
(Intermediate to Advanced)
Thursdays I 12:45 - 2:30pm I Community Center at La Canada Flintridge(4469 Chevy Chase Drive 91011 La Canada)
This class is not only offered to the spouses/partners of the Caltech and JPL community but also to anybody else who is not part of the Caltech and JPL community and wants to improve his/her English skills and meet new friends. This class is free. Arlene Kushida, certified English Instructor, also offers the Advanced English Literature class at Caltech every Friday (for the Caltech and JPL community only).
Children are not accepted in this class. If you are interested, please contact Arlene Kushida.

Literature-Based English Conversation Class (all levels)
Fridays I 11:00am - 1:00pm I Caltech Brown Gym Classroom
If you are looking for an opportunity to read and engage in stimulating discussions, come and join the Friday, literature-based, conversation class with Arlene Kushida.
Arlene says, “We will explore the world through the words of literary giants such as  Carver, Salinger, Bradbury, Baldwin, Saroyan, Vonnegut, to name a few. Their literature will take us on inspirational journeys and discussions that will expand analytical and verbal abilities.”  Some of the selections read last semester include novels:  Underground  Railroad by Colson Whitehead and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and series of short stories by Ernest Hemingway, Bret Hart, Mark Twain, E.A. Poe, Thomas Wolff, Kate Chopin and others.   Our readings will include the poetry and stories of Native American writer Sherman Alexie and selected writings from other contemporary writers such as Celeste Ng, Jesmyn Ward, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, Haruki Murakami, Dr. Lucy Jones."
The class is designed for intermediate to advanced level participants.  All books are provided.  Due to the discussion-based environment, children will not be able to attend.
If you are interested, please contact Arlene Kushida.

San Gabriel Valley Literacy Council offers small group English Language classes for adults, free of charge. The classes are held in five different locations in Pasadena and are offered at different times every day except Sunday. You can register for a class at any time. For more information and to see the schedule of classes, please visit the website at or call 626-298-4731.

Pasadena City College (refered as PCC) offers two types of ESL classes. There are ESL for credit classes where you will earn college credits and ESL non-credit classes which are recreational. These classes are not free; please check the links of PCC above.

DISCLAIMER:  The information provided on this website is for general information only.  Caltech does not endorse or recommend any of the organizations listed.