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 Advanced – 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. For the past three years, The Literacy Center has ranked among the top three 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.

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

English as a Second Language

How to Apply to an ESL Class:

Click here to complete your create your student portal account. After you have opened the page, click “Create a New Account,” and then fill out the necessary information. For step by step instructions on creating an account, click here. As part of this process, you will need to verify your account using a code that is sent to your email address. If you do not receive the code after 10 minutes, check your spam or junk folder.

Click here and login to your Community Web Portal account. Select and complete the ESL Application Form. You will need to complete the entire application form.

Once you have submitted your online application, our team will contact you to schedule an oral test appointment. It is important that you do not miss your Oral Test Appointment. During the Oral Test Appointment phone call, you will need to answer sets of questions in English without any help. The purpose of this test is to determine your class level. We will also verify your application information during this call.

We will email you with your class schedule and start date. If we do not receive confirmation of your class schedule and start date within one week, you risk losing your seat in the class and you will be placed back on the waiting list. It is very important that you check your email and spam folder often, so you do not miss this communication.

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).