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:

Click here to complete 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.

Once you have submitted your online application, our team will contact you by email and send you a link to take your placement test online. If we do not receive your placement test within a week, your spot will be given to another student.

Your placement test will be reviewed.

1.) If there are classroom openings at your level, our team will email you with your class schedule and start date. It is very important that you check your email and spam folder often, so you do not miss this communication.

2.) If there are no classroom openings at your level, our team will place you on the waiting list. We will notify you as soon as an opening becomes available.

Once in class, you will be required to submit additional documents and take a pretest online. You are not considered fully enrolled until all of these steps have been completed.

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

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.