The University of South Los Angeles School of Languages expands the educational efforts of the university and equips students with the knowledge, skills, and ideas for living and working successfully in an international world of rapid social and technical change. The transmission of knowledge in English is central to preparing students with the attitudes, skills, and habits of lifelong learning and leadership skills, enabling them to be a useful member of the global society.

The ESL certificate programs range from the 100 through 300 levels. These ESL programs are components of the School of Languages and are designed to provide for the academic needs of the ESL students. The University of South Los Angeles ESL programs lay a foundation for later study and help prepare students to enter and succeed in their various fields of study. Classes focus on the academic English skills students need to be successful at the university level. Special emphasis is given to advanced listening, speaking and reading skills, as well as, complex English grammatical forms and structures, and academic composition.

The School of Languages also offers a certification program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for individuals interested in acquiring the pedagogical skills necessary for instruction to newly immigrated students in the United States, or in preparation for teaching English in other foreign countries.