Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

ESL Center

Frequently Asked Questions

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Materials and Resources



Who can use the ESL Center?

  • Any PCC student may scan in and use the resources of the center to complete a course assignment

o   However, ESL TUTORING is for non-native writers only (English tutoring is available in the LAC)

o   Priority will be given to students currently enrolled in ESL classes.

What can I do in the ESL center?

  • Borrow books
  • Watch DVD’s
  • Borrow/play board games
  • See a tutor
  • Attend conversation groups
  • Attend pronunciation groups
  • Attend workshops
  • Do homework/self-study
  • Borrow laptop to use in the center

When is the ESL Center Lounge (D-306B) available?

The ESL Center Lounge (D-306B) is available most times when the ESL center is open. A schedule is posted next to the room where students can see what times the room is reserved.

Do I have to check out the ESL center when I need to step out to do something?

You should always check out of the ESL center. If you forget to log out, your hours will be lost and the ESL center cannot add them later.


When are the conversation/pronunciation groups?

The times are on the ESL center website under ‘Ongoing Activities’.

Please follow the link:

How does the language exchange program work?

Practice your second language by meeting up with a native speaker of that language. In return you will help the other student to learn your native language.

Come to the ESL center and fill out a slip with your details and put it on the notice board. The front desk staff will be happy to help you.

Materials and Resources

How do I check out a DVD?

Bring the empty DVD case to the front desk with your student ID. You can borrow the DVD for use in the ESL Center for 3 hours. When you are finished, return the DVD in the protective sleeve.

Can I take the DVD's home?

No. They are for viewing at the ESL Center on your own laptop, a check-out laptop, or in the small viewing room. You may borrow one DVD for up to 3 hours.

Can I borrow books from the ESL Center?

Yes, you can borrow textbooks and novels at the ESL Center. Textbooks are only for use in the center and you cannot take them home. Novels can be borrow for up to 2 weeks

What are the fees for returning a book/an item late?

  • $0.10/hours for Items to be used in center (textbooks, dictionaries, games and etc)
  • $0.10/day for novels

Does the ESL Center have computer/laptops available for ESL students?

Yes! We do have laptops that the students can use while they are in the center. The laptops cannot be taken out of the center.

Does the ESL Center have a printer/copier available for ESL students?

At the moment students cannot print in the ESL center. ESL students can use the printer in the LAC next door or in the library (fee applies).

Does the ESL Center have dictionaries that ESL students can check out?

Yes, we have dictionaries that students can check out for up to 6 hours and take to a class. It is important to return the dictionary before the ESL center closes on the same day. Otherwise the student needs to pay a fine. Opening hours can be found on the website.

Are there headphones/mouse available in the center?

Yes, when students borrow a laptop, they can also borrow headphones and a mouse.


How can I be a tutor in the ESL Center?

If you are a PCC student who has gotten an A or B in English 1A, you have a good command of English and an interest in helping others with their English skills, we invite you to be an ESL Tutor. Please visit the following site and scroll to the bottom for more information:

Do I need an appointment to see a tutor?

Currently, no appointment is necessary to see a tutor. After you swipe in, find the tutor that you wish to meet with (they wear name tags), and sign in with them if they have a waiting list.

How long can I sit with a tutor and what kind of help will the tutor give me?

Tutoring sessions are 15 minutes long. If you want to meet with the tutor for a longer time, you must put yourself back on the waiting list. The tutors will give you suggestions for improving your grammar and compositions, but they will not proofread your papers and correct your papers for you. They also can answer grammar questions and direct you to ESL Center resources that may help you. Other tutoring activities are to have conversation, work on pronunciation, discuss a film or novel or go over homework. Look at the document 'Tutors responsibilities' and 'Tutee's Responsibilities' for more information.

When can I see a tutor?

The tutor schedule can be found on the ESL center website under ‘Tutoring’.

Please follow thie link:

Will the tutor fix my essay?

No! Tutors do not fix essays. They will help you to fix your essays, but they do not correct your writing for you.

If I don’t have my assignment on paper available for the tutor but I have it on my electronic devise, can the tutor still help me?

It is best to print out your paper and bring it with you to the tutoring session. You might be able to bring in a laptop, but it is not recommended.

What can a tutor assist me with on my assignment?

This is not a proofreading service. Students must not expect tutors to edit papers for them or in any other way to do their work for them. Instead, tutors try to help students improve their work in terms of clarity of thesis, logic of organization, and inclusion of relevant detail. Tutors can point out errors in grammar and syntax, but they must not correct the students’ work for them.

What kind of tutors are in the ESL Center? How can they help me?

  1. Peer tutors - they are PCC students, both native and non-native English speakers, that have been trained to help you improve the writing on your papers for grammar, organization and content. They can also help you with other skills, like fluency, reading, listening, etc.
  2. SLPA pronunciation tutors - they are PCC students who are in the Speech and Language Pathology program. They can help you with your pronunciation of English.
  3. Cal State LA tutors - they are CSLA students who are getting their Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language. They can  help you with whatever you need help on.


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