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English as Second Language (ESL) Learning

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. All are free. Depending on your level, you may join one of them.

English as Second Language group classes (once a month starting on Monday Nov 6 2017)
Mondays | 10:00 - 11:30 AM | Caltech Brown Gym

This class is offered to the spouses/partners of the Caltech and JPL international community by Joanna Schiestl.  Joanna spent significant amounts of time in India, Benin, Morocco, Jordan, and Turkey while completing her degree in Intercultural Studies, so she is familiar with the process of adjustment. She has also lived five years in Indonesia, both studying and working abroad.  Here in the US, she worked three years welcoming refugees. She has also trained Duke University students to spend time abroad, and housed Duke visiting scholars from China and Lebanon.  She enjoys kitchen adventures, going to the beach in her convertible, and traveling every chance she gets. 
You can practice English in a non-academic setting as part of social gatherings and activities. Children are welcome. This class is designed for beginners to intermediate level participants. If you need more information, please contact Joanna

 Conversation English Group 
Tuesdays I 10:00 - 11:00 AM I Red Door Cafe at Caltech
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.

English as Second Language and Citizenship Classes
Thursdays I 1:00 - 2:30pm I La Canada United Methodist Church
This (non religious) 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.

English as Second Language and Conversation Class 
Thursdays I 4:30 - 6:00pm I Knox Church, 1st floor of 195 S. Hill Avenue (walking distance from Caltech)
This (non religious) class promotes friendship, fosters community and provides internationals a place to gather and practice English in a relaxed setting led by native English-speakers Andy Pearce and Sabina Ghimire.  It is free and open to all international connected to the Caltech and JPL community. Participants may also sign up for a one-on-one "conversation partner." Children are welcome. 
Email Andy Pearce for more information.

Literature-based English Conversation Class
Fridays I 11:00 - 1:00pm I Caltech Brown Gym

If you are looking for an opportunity to read and engage in stimulating discussions, come and join the Friday, literature-based, conversation class with postgraduate educator, Arlene Kushida.
Arlene says, “The literature selections will take you on inspiring journeys to explore and expand your knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of language and cultures.  We will explore the world through the words of great literary giants such as Hemingway, Carver, Fitzgerald, Morrison, Saroyan, Chopin, just to name a few.  It will be an opportunity to hone your conversational skills through short stories, poetry, plays, lyrics, and novels you’ve always hoped to read.”  Some of the selections read last semester include: 1984 by Georges Orwell, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Fences by August Wilson, Rise of the Rocket Girls by Natalia Holt.  This semester one of the selections will be the 2016 Pulitzer winner, National Book award nominee, and the 2017 choice for the “One City, One Book” award, Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. 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 Kai.

Pasadena City College 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.

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.

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