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The ESL program empowers students to achieve their goals

SAN MARCOS- Palomar’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program provides students with all of the necessary resources to help them achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals.

Between work, studying, and maintaining a personal life, college can be overwhelming. It’s even harder when the language your classes are taught in isn’t the one you grew up speaking. Since its inception, the ESL program has been helping students overcome the language barrier and achieve their goals.

Their motto, “Start here; Go anywhere,” reflects its promise to students that, regardless of their background or prior knowledge, they will leave equipped with the skills they need to excel.

Students can choose from a variety of classes and certificate programs ranging from essential pronunciation skills to computer literacy.

(Image courtesy of Palomar College)

Students are encouraged to take advantage of all the resources that the program has available. These include academic advisors, tutoring (in person and online), and student offices offering general ESL student support such as financial aid, paying for parking permits, and helping new students with the registration process.

According to the Department Chair, Heather Hosaka, “We just want to help students reach their goals. So we try to, as instructors, find out what they are, and then we feel satisfied if they are able to meet those goals or get closer to them,” Hosaka told the Telescope over Zoom.

Tutors are accessible via in-person appointments at the library or on Zoom. Those whose jobs or personal lives prevent them from seeing a tutor are not at a loss; many classes include supplemental instructors who meet with students before and after class. Students who struggle with technology are provided with user-friendly iPads, as well as access to the program’s lab technician for general assistance and troubleshooting.

The ESL center strives to make its services accessible to anyone in need by offering classes at the San Marcos, Escondido, and Fallbrook campuses; as well as offering its entire curriculum online. The program is also active through high schools, local businesses, and churches.

Emily Sirkin, an alumnus who returned to the program as a tutor, commented on their outreach efforts, “I think this is a great way to connect with the local community and encourage these students to continue learning English,” Sirkin continued, “For example, this semester, I am embedded as a tutor in a multilevel class at the High Tech High in San Marcos.” ESL’s presence in the community has also served to boost enrollment by inspiring local high school students to continue their academic journey at Palomar.

Whether someone wants to brush up on their grammar skills, or they’ve just begun learning English, the program’s administrators strive to support them every step of the way.

This graphic shows a woman in a pink blouse looking at the camera. The text by her head reads, "English as a Second Language. Leap Over The Barrier." It shows the Palomar Logo and encourages people to enroll in ESL classes.

Palomar College has a variety of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Learn more here.
Graphic: Ryan Marlowe/The Telescope

“I let the students know that they have help from the ESL department’s staff and the professors. From the beginning to the end of the program; they have support with applications, registrations, computer literacy, tutoring, job career, counseling, and office hours with teachers. They will always have someone to help them,” said Sirkin in closing.

Image Sources

  • ESL-9525.jpg: Photo courtesy of Palomar College | Used With Permission
  • ESL Graphic: Ryan Marlowe/The Telescope | All Rights Reserved

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