Contact San Diego Mesa College English Department

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English Department

Welcome to the English Department. We're here to help you write better, whether it's composition, literature, or creative writing! 

English 101 or 105 are general education requirements. If you plan on transferring, you may also have to take English 205.

Before enrolling in classes, students must take the English assessment test. If you do not place directly into English 101 or 105, you have three pathways to choose from:

  • English 101x - This five-unit course allows you to complete the English 101 requirement in one semester.
  • English 47A - This four-unit course prepares you for English 101.
  • Other - Your assessment results will suggest which courses to take. Requirements range from one to four courses (ENGL 42, ENGL 43, ENGL 48, ENGL 49)

If you feel you should have been placed in a higher-level English class, or you disagree with the assessment results, you can take a Placement Challenge Test. To do this, please visit Admissions and ask for Jim Arnegard.

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English as a Second Language

The English for Speakers of Other Languages Program is designed to prepare students to read, write, speak, and listen at a level that enables them to succeed in college courses.

The program consists of four levels. Students are assigned a level based on the result of the placement test.

The first level, L19, is a nine-unit combined skills class. Students who successfully complete this course are at the intermediate-low level. Some students at the beginning level may find ESOL 19A difficult. For these students, counselors are available to discuss options and resources, including classes at Continuing Education.

The second and third levels, L20 and L30, each consist of three courses. The grammar/writing component is a six-unit course (ESOL 20 and 30); the reading (ESOL 21 and 31) and listening/speaking (ESOL 22 and 32) components are three units each. Faculty recommend that students who are attending part-time complete the reading and listening/speaking course at the appropriate level prior to the writing/grammar course.

At the fourth level, L40, students have the choice of two paths. In the traditional path, students take a course in reading and writing (ESOL 40). Upon successful completion of this course, students can read and write at an intermediate-advanced level and are prepared to take English courses one level below transfer (ENGL 48 & 49 or ENGL 47A).

The other option for students at the L40 level is to take an accelerated path. Upon successful completion of a nine-unit accelerated reading and writing course (ESOL 45), students will be able to read at an advanced level and are prepared to take courses in transfer level English (ENGL 101 and/or 105).

Students who score lower than level L40 on the placement exam must complete ESOL 40 and ESOL 32 to be able to read, write, speak, and listen at an intermediate-advanced level and be prepared to take English courses one level below transfer (ENGL 48 & 49 or ENGL 47A) or ESOL 45 and ESOL 32 to be able to take English courses at transfer level (ENGL 101 and/or ENGL 105).

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing Program at San Diego Mesa College offers a Creative Writing Certificate of Performance and range of classes for transfer credit and personal enrichment including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The main program goal is to prepare students for upper division writing programs by offering courses that guide the development of writing skills. In this process, we provide writing workshops, individualized critiques of students' manuscripts, craft lectures, and exercises that encourage development of students as writers.

Notice: Clicking the creative writing link takes you off of the San Diego Mesa College website. This link is provided for your convenience. Mesa College and the San Diego Community College District are not responsible or liable for the content, information or security of this website (or links) and any issues that may arise out of the website's privacy policy.


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