English As A Second Language (ESL) Classes

Each year, The Literacy Center offers ESL classes to more than 400 students at various levels – from Beginner to Transitional – to help develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Our students consistently meet or exceed all Pennsylvania Department of Education benchmarks for Educational Functional Level (EFL) gains. Our ESL classes are facilitated by highly trained teachers and supported by dedicated volunteers. Students also participate in one hour of self-directed educational activity each week.

When in-person classes are possible, The Literacy Center provides a computer lab and access to specialized educational software to help students develop their literacy skills outside of regular class time.* The Literacy Center reaches a significant number of immigrants and refugees who are motivated to build upon their literacy and English language skills so that their families can thrive in the United States. Our ESL students have represented nearly every country in the world.

*Due to Covid-19, classes and services are available online. For more information, please call 610-435-0680 Ext. 804. Thank you and be safe.

English as a Second Language

About Our ESL Classes

  • Four ESL Levels are offered: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Transitional
    • Pre-tests taken at time of registration will determine your ESL level
  • Classes take place twice a week – morning and evening sessions available
  • Applications open in May and classes begin in September (see below for registration steps)

“I recommend the ESL program of The Literacy Center to anyone who just arrived in the USA and needs to improve their English. There are people who care about you more than just your skills; they care about your feelings as well.”

How to Apply to an ESL Class:

Step 1: Complete the Online Application and Class Registration.

Click here to complete your online application and class registration. Be sure to read and complete both forms carefully. For step-by-step instructions, click here. ** If you need help completing the application, please call our Help Desk at 610-435-0680, Ext. 804.

Paso 1: Complete la solicitud en línea y el registro de clase.

Haga clic aquí para completar su solicitud en línea y registrarse en la clase. Asegúrese de leer y completar ambos formularios cuidadosamente. Para obtener instrucciones paso a paso, haga clic aquí. **Si necesita ayuda para completar la solicitud, llame a nuestra línea de asistencia al 610-435-0680, Ext. 804.

Step 2: If you are accepted into the program, you will receive an email with the next steps. 

a) If seats are available for classes, you will receive an email with a formal invitation to come to our building. You will be required to attend an orientation session, fill out further documentation, and take an assessment. Be sure to check your spam/junk folder for our email, as it is common to have delivery problems because of automated filters.

b) If seats are not available, our team will place you on the wait list. We will notify you as soon as an opening becomes available.

Paso 2: Si es aceptado en el programa, recibirá un correo electrónico con los pasos a seguir.

a) Si hay asientos disponibles para las clases, recibirá un correo electrónico con una invitación formal para venir a nuestro edificio. Se le pedirá que asista a una sesión de orientación, complete más documentación y realice una evaluación. Asegúrese de revisar su carpeta de spam/basura para ver nuestro correo electrónico, ya que es común tener problemas de entrega debido a los filtros automáticos.

b) Si no hay puestos disponibles, nuestro equipo lo colocará en la lista de espera. Le notificaremos tan pronto como haya una vacante disponible.

IMPORTANT! Applicants must complete both steps above to be officially enrolled.

Due to the high volume of applications, we cannot guarantee your acceptance into the program. If seats are not available, our team will place you on the waitlist.

¡IMPORTANTE! Los solicitantes deben completar los dos pasos anteriores para inscribirse oficialmente.

Debido al alto volumen de solicitudes, no podemos garantizar su aceptación en el programa. Si no hay asientos disponibles, nuestro equipo lo colocará en la lista de espera.


ESL Frequently Asked Questions

ESL Classes are FREE.  If you do not wish to wait for an opening in our free courses, we suggest you check out our ESL Workshops.  These tailored 4-hour workshops are available for a small fee.

We typically offer English classes either in the mornings (9:00am – 11:30am) or in the evenings (6:00 PM to 8:30 PM).

Because we are one of the few centers that offer free English Classes in the Lehigh Valley, our classes are often full. For this reason, you may have to wait several months after you apply.

If you’d like to practice your English earlier, however, you may take one of our ESL Workshops for a small fee or visit the following page to take a look at our online resources for learning English.

When possible, we hold in-person registrations at our office in August, December, and March.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the registration process is currently 100% online.