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8045 E. Chapman Ave. Orange, CA 92869 (714) 628-4900
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American College English/ESL: FAQs



1. Which placement test do I take--TELD for the ACE/ESL program, or CTEP for the English program?

 If you still make lots of errors in writing because of differences between your native language and English, you should take the TELD.  Some of you may have been in the U.S. for a long time and have excellent speaking skills, but your writing still contains many errors.  We want you to be in the right courses so that you can succeed, and that means you must choose the best placement test for your own situation. 

 Need a TELD appointment?  Call 714-628-4985 or 714-628-4800.  


2.  I graduated from an American high school, where I passed senior English.  Why might I still need to take ESL in college? 

If you know you still make a lot of grammar, punctuation or translation errors because your English is not completely fluent,  the ACE program is designed to help you focus on building skills quickly so that you can succeed in English 101 and other college courses.  If your writing skills are not at a college level, you might not pass English 061 or 101--even if you passed senior English in high school.  


3.  If I took the English placement test (CTEP) and am currently in an English course, can I change to the ACE program?

 Of course!  But you need to make all add/drop changes during the first two weeks of the semester.  Be sure to talk to the ACE department chair so we can help you make the switch into the right course.  Contact Diana Babayan at (714) 628-4782. 


4.  Won't the ACE program slow down my plans to transfer?

 Not necessarily.  Most of our students place into one of the two "middle" ACE levels and will need only two or three semesters of ESL before they can register for English 101.   If you end up in the wrong program and don't pass those courses, then it will take you longer to transfer.  That's why it is so important for you to take the right placement test in the beginning. 


5.  When I transfer, won't ESL look bad on my transcript?

 No.  Two ACE levels, 102 and 116, are transferable to certain four-year schools as elective credit.  Universities understand that if your native language is not English, your academic background will probably include ESL, and they often recognize that former ESL students are in fact very highly motivated to succeed.  ACE has seen its former students graduate from CSUF, CSULB, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UCI, Amherst and other outstanding universities.    


    6.  Does SCC have an International Student Office?

The college has an International Student Office located in A-203.  Any questions you have about your visa status or requirements should be directed to that office.    

Their contact information is  (714) 628-5050 or email to


7.  Are the ESL programs at Santiago Canyon College and Santa Ana College the same?

They cover the same grammar, reading and writing skills, but they are organized differently.  In ACE, speaking skills are emphasized in the N43, 053 and 093 courses so that class time is dedicated to just speaking.  The chart below shows you in general how the two programs compare.


                Santa Ana                                                  Santiago Canyon

               1.  ESL N40A                                                                 1.  ACE N42 + N43

               2.  ESL N40B                                                                      


               3.  ESL N49 + lab                                                          2.  ACE 052 / 053

               4.  EMLS 055 + lab


               5.  EMLS 107 + lab                                                       3.  ACE 102 / 093

               6.  EMLS 109 + lab    


               7.  EMLS 110 + lab                                                       4.  ACE 116

               8.  EMLS 112


English 101



8.  What does "+ lab" mean in the Santa Ana classes?

It means that students in these courses must also complete one hour per week in the language lab in addition to the time they spend in class.  


9.  Are ACE students required to do an outside lab hour, too?

No.  Starting in Fall 2012, in each ACE level, lab time is part of class time.  This means the instructor will have time to work with students individually during class and can give each student an individualized lab assignment in addition to other types of lab work.  


10.  Are ACE students required to take both of the classes listed in the chart?

Only if they are in the N42 class.  At the other two levels, the 053 and 093 are not required, just strongly encouraged so that students can get as much English practice as possible in each semester.  The more time you spend in English, the more fluent you will become.


11.  What if I'm a Continuing Education student?  Can I take ACE classes?

Yes!  We open several seats in our two lowest ACE levels to Continuing Education students as a way to build a bridge between our non-credit and credit ESL programs.  This allows Continuing Ed. students to work with credit students.  They often realize that they are ready to study in the college credit program.