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Political Comedy Show: This Weekend!

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Join the award-winning SF Mime Troupe for the Berkeley premiere of its local political theatre comedy!

What: “Seeing Red: A Time-Traveling Musical”

Where: Cedar Rose Park, Berkeley

When: Sat, Jul 7th @ 2:00 PM, 
            Sun, Jul 8th @ 2:00 PM

Ticket Info: FREE (suggested donation $20)


Placement exam is open!

The 2018 placement exam for all students enrolled in COLWRIT 5, 6, 8, and/or 9 courses can be found online at


  • Students enrolled in Colwrit 5, 8 and 9 must complete the exam by 22 June 2018.
  • Students enrolled in Colwrit 6 must complete the exam by 10 July 2018.
  • Students enrolled in Colwrit 7 and W9 (online) courses only do not need to take the exam

Information about the exam:

This is not an entrance exam.  You do not need to reach a specific score in order to enroll in the Summer English Language Studies courses.*  Many of our courses have multiple levels; we use your exam results only to place you into the level that best meets your language needs. Please email us if you have any questions.

  • Students must first enroll in COLWRIT 5, 6, 8, or 9 through Summer Sessions to take the exam. Enrolled students will receive an email in late May 2018 with directions for taking the exam. For enrollment information, go to
  • The exam is completely online and can be taken on any computer (not on a tablet or mobile device).
  • You will need speakers or headphones, a microphone, and a quiet location.
  • The exam has five sections: Listening, Reading, Grammar, Speaking, and Writing.


  • In order to log into the exam, you will need your UC Berkeley Calnet ID and passphrase.
  • To create one, you will need the four-digit PIN and your eight-digit student ID number sent to your email from Calnet @ Berkeley.
  • The link to set up the Calnet ID and passphrase are also found in this email. Sometimes this email goes to spam or junk folders, so please search there first if you have not received it.
  • We will post a link to the exam here in early June.

*Note: If you plan to take UC Berkeley courses outside our program, there is an English Proficiency Requirement.

Want to take classes at UC Berkeley this summer? Courses still available!

If you need a student visa to study with us and you missed the 23 May deadline, don’t panic; apply! You can still apply for our three-week session and many courses still have spaces available.*

And if you want to study online from anywhere in the world, we have several  online courses taught by our most experienced teachers!*

For application and registration information, please visit the Berkeley Summer Sessions website.

*All courses are credit-bearing and will appear on an official UC Berkeley transcript.

Last Chance: 02 July – 10 August Session Filling Fast!

Interested in joining our six-week program this summer?  Deadline for international student visa applicants: May 23!

We have spaces available in the following classes:

Colwrit 5A, Section 2: English through Broadway Musicals

Colwrit 5D, Section 2: English through Literature

Colwrit 5E, Section 2: English through Popular Music

Colwrit 5I, Section 1: TV, Culture, and Communication

Colwrit 8, Section 1: English for Academic and Professional Purposes – Integrated Skills

Colwrit 9A, Section 1: Academic Research for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9C, Section 1: Academic Writing for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9E, Section 1: Business English for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9F, Section 1: Business Speaking for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9I, Section 1: Conflict Resolution Skills for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9J, Section 1: Academic Sentence Structure and Written Style

Colwrit 9R, Section 1: Academic and Public Speaking for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9S, Section 1: Pronunciation for Multilingual Students

Colwrit 9V, Section 1: Science and Engineering for Multilingual Students

Legal English Class — online

Can’t get into our very popular Colwrit 9N class?
Planning to join an LL.M. program and want to learn more about common law?

Enroll in our new section of Colwrit W9: Legal English Online!

Class Number 16363
2 units

This course offers an introduction to the foundations of the American legal system, and an opportunity for intensive English practice. Students will become familiar with the federal and state court systems, judge and jury trials, the case law method, and selected areas of law based on student interest (e.g., contracts, constitutional law, criminal law, torts). Students will also practice new vocabulary and idioms; read and analyze judges’ decisions; organize, write and edit legal arguments; give oral presentations; and participate in formal and informal discussions.  Suitable for intermediate through advanced ESL students, this course is of special interest to business and legal professionals and students, including LL.M. students who wish to prepare for the fall semester at U.S. law schools.



Did you know? — “Berkeley Time”

Did you know that, at Berkeley, classes start 10 minutes after their scheduled times?

Known as “Berkeley time,” this time serves as a buffer zone for students with back-to-back classes.

For example, if your schedule says you have

Class A from 9:00–11:30AM
Class B from 11:30AM–2:00PM

don’t worry!

Class A will start at 9:10 and end at 11:30, and
Class B will start at 11:40 and end at 2:00,
giving you 10 minutes to travel from class A to B.

Similarly, if your schedule says you have

Class B from 11:30AM–2:00PM
Class C from 2:00–4:30PM,

Class C will not start until 2:10, so you can in fact take those two classes back to back.

Why do some ESL courses have a high enrollment cap? Multi-level sections- that’s why!

Many of our courses have multiple sections in order to allow us to provide you instruction at just the right level for your english skills.

Most sections are capped at 18 students.  The only exception is the ESL 7 series, which will be capped at 25 students.

So, if you see a course in the Academic Guide that has a cap of 36, 54, or 72, do not fear!  All students will enroll in one section (section 1, meeting in 119 Wheeler Hall) of the course during registration, but the individual sections of the classes will still be small.

This larger number means that we will be offering multiple levels and that we will place you into a level based on your placement exam results.  You will get a small class and level-specific instruction.

See our courses list.

And register via Summer Sessions.

Legal English and Legal Writing Courses in the News!!

This article highlights our Colwrit 9N and 9O courses, including our field trips to the Supreme Court of California and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Summer 2018: Exciting Course Offerings!

Do you need to improve your English for school or work purposes? Take the next step in your academic or professional career with Summer English Language Studies!

Our elite program includes:

  • challenging classes for motivated students, with engaging topics for even the most advanced of learners
  • uniquely qualified instructors with expertise in teaching English for a variety of specific purposes
  • communicative teaching methods supported by research in language learning

We are experienced with taking your learning beyond the classroom too, with unique fieldwork assignments that will help you apply classroom concepts as you explore the Bay Area.  At our historic campus with world-class libraries, facilities, and special events, you will have all the resources you need to succeed!

This summer, we are introducing two new exciting levels of study:

  • Prepare, with classes ideal for undergraduate students, set up to help you prepare for academic work in English.
  • Refine, with classes ideal for working professionals and graduate students, set up to offer a unique challenge at the advanced level you need. These sections are reserved for higher level students based on our in-house placement exam.

Our programs are designed to fit your schedule; we offer both three and six week programs, as well as online classes.  With over 65 classes to meet your unique needs and interests, we are sure you will find something that is right for you.  Our classes include:

  • English for Specific Professional and Academic Purposes
    Advance your academic and professional career with classes in Business English, Legal Writing, English for Science and Engineering, English for Art and Design, Job Search Skills, College Coaching and more!
  • English Through Culture and Media
    Learn English through the topics you love – from Food Culture, Popular Music, Film, Literature, to Broadway Musicals and more!
  • Intensive Skill Practice in English
    Get the skill practice you need to succeed in school and work – Academic and Public Speaking, Speech and Debate, Writing for Digital Media, Conflict Resolution and more.

See our full list of classes here.

Registration opens February 15, 2018.  We look forward to seeing you soon!


Goodbye, Summer 2017. Hello, Summer 2018.

Safe travels to all our summer 2017 students returning to their home countries or home universities. Our program has moved back to our permanent location in Wheeler Hall 119 and are busily working on class schedules and events for Summer 2018. Keep in touch via

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter and Instagram: @sels_ucb

Chinese students:

Let us know if there is a platform we should use to best keep in touch.  You can email us at (gmail).  If you cannot send to gmail, please use