Instructional Components

The intensive English as a Second Language program provides individualized instruction in small classes. Dedicated professional faculty and state-of-the-art computer software make your learning experiences more effective.

ELI students attend class 20 hours per week. Each session is eight weeks long; there are five sessions per year. Students may attend multiple sessions. Class attendance is mandatory when class in in session for all international students with F-1 visa.  ELI helps students gain confidence and academic skills necessary to transfer into academic credit classes.

Typical Daily Class Schedule






ELI Instructors

Debbie Hanley

Debbie HanleyDebbie's introduction to ESL was quite unusual.  During a year of volunteer work in Morelia, Michoacan, she contracted typhoid fever and was forced to stay at home.  When neighbors heard that she as a teacher, they asked if she could teach them English so that they could go to "el otro lado."  Having just completed her BA degree in Elementary Education/French from Bethel College in St. Paul MN, Debbie was unfamiliar with this kind of teaching, but found some books and dove right in. To her delight, she discovered her passion- teaching adults who are excited about learning English!

Upon returning to the states, she as able to continue teaching at Concordia College in River Forest, IL.  Her teaching assignments have subsequently taken her to Minnesota, Florida, and finally to MiraCosta where she has been teaching for the past eighteen years in the noncredit ESL program.  She received her Masters in TESOL from USIU in 1991 and spent the following year as the director of ESL at their London campus.  During her years at MCC, Debbie has initiated the International Conversation Cafes, which is now a monthly event at MCC; she has also been awarded two innovation grants for her MENTOR and TEAM programs that have been successfully implemented at the Community Learning Center.  Debbie has taught the ESL Bridging class for the past ten years and is excited about her new credit assignment, ESL 820, a grammar review class.

Sou Lackkaty

Sou LackkatySou was born in Vientiane, Laos. She started her schooling in RoiEt, Thailand and continued her education in the United States. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University in Linguistics with emphasis in TESOL. In 2005, Sou went to Chile as a Fulbright Fellow and worked with the Universidad de Atacama.

Sou enjoys learning and teaching languages. She speaks, reads, and writes five languages. For the past 12 years, Sou has taught ESL and various other subjects with the San Diego Community College District in San Diego, California, The Northern Jiaotong University in Beijing, China, Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and Universidad de Atacama in Copiapo, Chile. Currently, Sou is a part-time instructor with MiraCosta College and UCSD's ELI Program.

It is Sou's love for continued/lifetime learning and interest in peoples, places, languages, cultures, and customs that has motivated her to want to share this love and interest with others. Sou hopes to continue her lifelong "dream job" as a teacher who shares and inspires her students for the love of learning; the love of knowledge.

Zakia Farouq

Photo of Zakia FarouqZakia was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and moved to the United States in May of 1981. She speaks Farsi, English, and Spanish. As an ESL student, Ms. Farouq attended elementary, middle, and high school in New York. Receiving her BS and Master’s in TESOL from St.John's University, she began teaching ESL at Long Island City High School in Astoria, Queens where she coordinated the Saturday institute which emphasized essay writing in preparation for the New York State Regents Examination.

In August of 2001, she moved to San Diego and has been a special education teacher, a reading instructor, and an ESL instructor at Palomar and MiraCosta Colleges. Zakia says, “I love teaching especially because I was in my student's seat once. I can relate to the hardships that my students feel and go through everyday because I went through the same struggles. My goal is to help each individual student be able to reach his or her dreams. I am very enthusiastic about helping my ESL students be as successful as they can be in college and whatever path they may choose to pursue for their future or their career.”

Kristin Maccarrone


Kristin Maccarrone has a Masters Degree in Human Behavior and is certified in TEFL. She taught Corporate English in Italy for four years. In addition to teaching English, she teaches Beginning French Conversation and Beginning Italian Conversation for Community Services. She is a Certified Mediator for the San Diego Court system.  She enjoys gardening, cooking, and international travel. 

Deborah Duffy


Deborah Duffy is an Associate faculty in Letters Department and English Language Institute (ELI) Instructor. Her educational background includes:

Academic Classes taught at MiraCosta College

English Language Institute (ELI) Instructor

Nikola Kaminsky

Photo of Nikola KaminskyNikola was born and raised in the Czech Republic. She earned her Magister degree at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen where she double majored in English Language and Literature and Russian Language and Literature with emphasis on teaching both disciplines. During her studies, she was teaching ESL at different schools in her home country and later also at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.

After finishing school, Nikola followed her husband to San Diego and enrolled in San Diego State University where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Education specializing in Policy Studies in Language and Cross Cultural Education with Emphasis on Linguistics. She also holds a Basic Certificate in Applied Linguistics and ESL from SDSU. During her studies at SDSU, Nikola is a member of several professional organizations including Phi Beta Delta - Honor Society for International Scholars, Pi Lambda Theta - International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education, and CATESOL – California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

During her graduate program at SDSU, Nikola developed a deep interest in the academic experience of international college students on American campuses. She is excited to be able to work with international students at the MiraCosta College helping them with their language as well as cultural adjustment challenges.