Feb 22, 2024  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English as a Second Language

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Pima Community College’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program, also known as Intensive Academic English, prepares non-native speakers of English to achieve their personal, academic, and professional goals by developing their English language skills and intercultural understanding in a supportive environment.

Department Head:

Jeffrey Gabbitas, Ph.D.

Downtown Campus, CC 266
(520) 206-7274


Lisa Jurkowitz, Ph.D.
Downtown Campus, CC 292
(520) 206-7218

ESL Advising Support:

For all inquiries about the ESL program at Pima,
please email: pcc-ESLadvising@pima.edu

Full-Time Faculty:

Nancy Hamadou, nhamadou@pima.edu
Lisa Jurkowitz, Ph.D., ljurkowitz@pima.edu
Cynthia Howe, chowe@pima.edu


Intensive Academic English

Pima Community College’s Intensive Academic English program consists of four levels: high beginning, intermediate, high intermediate, and advanced.  Each level is made up of three classes focusing on the core skills of Writing and Grammar, Reading and Vocabulary, and Oral Communication. An Intermediate and an Advanced pronunciation class are also offered.

Students test into the appropriate level for their abilities.

Completion of the intensive ESL sequence will open countless doors to students, empowering them to more confidently navigate life in the United States, begin a certificate or degree program of their choice, as well as seek higher and better-paying jobs.

For more information, please see our Intensive Academic English Pathway  

Hear from our Students!

Herendida Ruiz Lagarda, Mexico

Smiling student from Mexico“Enjoy and learn from all the little moments in your ESL classes because after finishing the program, you will miss being part of this family. And remember, having confidence in yourself gives you new opportunities.”

Hoang Nguyen, VietNam

Smiling student from Vietnam“Taking ESL classes at Pima gave me great experiences, as I have not only developed my four English skills but also made friends from around the world. ESL classes helped move me from beginner to advanced level and helped me build up my vocabulary. I am thankful to all the professors and employees of the ESL department.”

Wassim Khawam, Syria

Smiling student from Syria“I am one year away from graduating with a mechanical engineering degree, but when I first started at Pima, I did not understand a word of English.  ESL classes definitely accelerated my process of learning the language and helped me in my personal life by offering me the environment and community of like people who just started their life in this country.” 

Ariane Higuera Pierre Noel, Mexico

Smiling student from Mexico“I have studied in the ESL program at Pima Community College for two years, and I have to say that it is one of the better experiences of my life. I learned a lot, not just about English, but also about other cultures around the world. I recommend the ESL program to any person who wants to learn English in a deep way.” 

Nazli Guvenc, Turkey

Smiling student from Turkey“The instructors in the Pima ESL program are fantastic!  They always put your learning first. They try to help you in everything they can.  After I complete the ESL program, I want to start my degree in Supply Chain Management.  I wish you the best luck in the Pima ESL program.”



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