English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language

Oakland Community College welcomes students from all backgrounds, including English as a Second Language (ESL) students. 

We understand how difficult it can be to take courses in another language. Our ESL program will help you become more fluent in English and better prepare you for college and your career.

Admissions, Cost & Financial Aid
  • Apply: All students must complete several steps in order to apply to OCC and register for classes. 
  • On an F-1 visa?: Work with our International Student Advisors to complete the registration process. 
  • Paying for classes: Learn more about our tuition cost and financial aid.

Why come to OCC?

  • Established program | Our English as a Second Language program has been helping students reach their goals for over 30 years.
  • Complete instruction | We offer 11 different courses to help you improve your English skills, including grammar, listening communication, conversation, oral communication, writing and reading. 
  • Expert faculty | Our dedicated faculty members are experienced in working with students who have different levels of English skills.
  • Free academic support | Our Conversation Partner Program and one-on-one tutoring through our Academic Support Center provide additional support outside the classroom.
  • Bridge class | We offer this non-credit course for students who have lower placement scores and who need extra preparation before entering the ESL program.  
  • Successful graduates | No matter where you go after OCC, our ESL program will prepare you. Our OCC graduates transfer to 4-year colleges and universities, enter the workforce and get better jobs.

You can also read frequently asked questions about our program. 

Placement Testing

  • Required | To ensure you enroll in the classes that best meet your needs, you will need to take the Duolingo English test.  
  • Duolingo English Test | This test is different from many other placement tests. It is designed to test students’ real-world language ability, and it measures reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. 
  • Free | You will not need to pay for this test. You will receive a special OCC coupon code that covers the cost. 
  • To take the Duolingo English test | Visit MyOCC and log in with your OCC username and password. Locate the Pre-Registration Steps card, then select Duolingo ESL Placement. Follow the instructions on this page.
  • Exemption | If you have already taken the TOEFL / IELTS tests, your score may exempt you from taking some ESL courses. Visit our placement testing page and see the “Exemption” section for more information.

“I speak all the time with my family in Spanish and my friends are from Mexico. I needed to practice my English with somebody else, so I decided to be part of this opportunity … I not only improved my English skills, but also, I think I have grown as a person.”  – Cutzi Guzman Lopez, ESL student in Conversation Partner Program

For specific information about how to take the Duolingo English Test, go to MyOCC and log in with your OCC username and password. Locate the Pre-Registration Steps card, then select Duolingo ESL Placement. Follow the instructions on this page.



NOTE: Students on F-1 visas must work with the International Student Advisors to complete the process. 
All students must complete several steps in order to register for classes.

Image of checkbox 

STEP 1: Complete online application

Go to apply. Select Create An Admissions Profile. Complete the Application for Admission. Confirmation emails are sent when the application is received and again when processed. Allow two (2) business days for processing. NOTE: Fall and winter semesters have application deadlines. Plan Ahead!

Image of checkbox

STEP 2: Set up your MyOCC Account

When your application is processed you will receive two separate emails - One with your OCC Student ID number along with a link to retrieve your username from Admissions and a second email from Online Services with your Temporary Password

MyOCC is where you will access your student email account, pre-registration steps, register for classes, payment information, and more.

Image of checkbox 

 STEP 3: Complete the Placement Process

It takes time to get prepared, take the test, and get results. Start this early.

Image of checkbox 

STEP 4: Complete the New Student Orientation - Online

This can feel complicated. Just do your best.

Image of checkbox 

STEP 5: Meet with a Counselor

Make the most of your counseling appointment. OCC now requires Mandatory Counseling for all incoming first-time college students. Complete your application and placement testing before coming in! Call for an appointment with a counselor at one of the campuses or set up a ZOOM meeting!

Image of checkbox

STEP 6: Register for Classes via MyOCC

  • Log into MyOCC
  • Click on the Student Planning card
  • Click Go to Plan & Schedule under Plan your Degree & Register for Classes
Image of checkbox 

STEP 7: Pay your bill

You can pay via:

Image of checkbox

STEP 8: Get Your Raider One Card

The Raider One Card is your Official OCC Student ID. It serves as your Student ID, Library Card, Copy/Print Card, and iROC Cash for Raiders Store and Cafe purchases. Your first card is free, replacement cards cost $10. Your official OCC Student ID can be picked up at the Business Office.

Image of checkbox

STEP 9: Visit the D2L Site for Your Classes