English As A Second Language (ESL) Classes

Each year, The Literacy Center offers ESL classes to more than 400 students at various levels, from beginning literacy to advanced, to help them 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. We were ranked #1 out of 53 adult literacy centers for 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.

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.

English as a Second Language

Admissions Process

Click here to complete your online application. After you’ve opened the page, click “Create a New Account,” and then fill out the necessary information. (If you need more instructions for creating an account, click here.) If you do not have access to a computer or need some help completing the application online, come to our office to complete your application. This is only the first step. You must complete the following steps to have a complete application.

After you apply for classes, you must come in to our office to take a 30-minute Appraisal Test. This test will tell us how much English you already speak so that we can place you into the right class. Please plan to come when you have at least 30 minutes to take the test. The following are recommended times:

New hours beginning June 18:

          Wednesdays from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
          Thursdays from 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Please remember: You must complete both the Application and the Appraisal Test for your application to be considered for enrollment.

Once we have received both your application and your Appraisal Test, we will ask you to wait until we contact you, either through phone or email. Please check your email or phone calls, as here we will give you information about the next steps in the process.

Please be patient; you may have to wait several months for us to contact you. If your phone number or email address changes, please call us to let us know of this change so that we can call the right phone number or email the right address. While you are waiting, you can visit our ESL Resources page to practice your English speaking skills.

Due to the increased need in this program, we cannot guarantee the acceptance of all applicants.

ESL Frequently Asked Questions

All our classes (ESL and GED) are FREE.

Before you can register for English classes, you must first apply for classes. To apply for classes online, you can click here.

After you apply, you must come to our office (1132 W. Hamilton St., Suite 300, Allentown, PA) to take a 30 minute test. This test will tell us your level of English. Times when you can come to take the 30 minute test are

Thursdays: 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Fridays:     8:30 AM to 12:00 PM

After you take the test, you will have to wait for us to contact you (either through email or phone) to invite you to register for classes available at your level of English. Please be patient: you may have to wait several months before we contact you.

We typically offer English classes either in the mornings (8:30 AM to 12:00 PM) 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 take the 30 minute test before we are able to invite you to register for classes.

If you’d like to practice your English earlier, however, you may visit the following page to take a look at our online resources for learning English:


We hold registrations for English classes during the summer (usually in July). Occasionally, we also hold registrations during the winter (usually in January).