English as a Second Language (ESL)
English as second language instruction can benefit non-native English speakers, regardless of language group or nationality. Gaining confidence in written and spoken English skills can be critical to your college and workforce success.
ECC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program focuses on reading, writing, listening, and speaking. ECC offers day and evening courses at several locations and online. All ESL classes are offered at no cost to eligible non-native English speakers.
- As a student, you will be supported to gain English language fluency for success in school and at work.
- Courses are offered day and evening at Elgin Community College, Carpentersville, Streamwood, and Hanover Park Education and Work Center.
- All classes are provided free of charge to eligible immigrant students.
- A placement test is required.
Part-Time ESL Programs
Courses offered at the beginning literacy, low beginning, and high beginning levels equip students with basic survival English skills. Upon completing the high beginning level, students can function in familiar social situations, make inquiries related to everyday activities, express opinions, write simple sentences, and read familiar texts.
- Who should attend: Non-native English speakers from any language group or nationality.
Courses offered at the low and high intermediate levels prepare students for higher-level education or employment opportunities. Upon completing the high intermediate level, students may exit the program, continue to advanced ESL, enroll in the intensive ESL program, or transition into other college courses, as appropriate. An academic advisor is available to help students make the transition. Classes are offered free of charge to qualifying students.
- Who should attend: Non-native English speakers from any language group or nationality wish to prepare for higher-level education or employment opportunities.
Courses offered at the advanced level prepare students for entrance into college-level classes. Upon completing the advanced level, students can read and write to ensure success in college-level English courses. They can receive free in-district tuition for one, three-credit-hour college classes to help them achieve their educational and career-related goals. A student services specialist is available to help students transition to college-level English.
- Who should attend: Non-native English speakers from any language group or nationality who wish to prepare for entrance into college-level classes.
If you currently hold a student visa, you may not enroll in the ESL Program but should consider our Intensive English Program for students who would like to begin a degree or certificate program at ECC. All other students on certain visas cannot join the free adult education program.
Please fill out our inquiry form to receive more information about how to register for ABE/ASE classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a quick question? Use our Live Chat or search the FAQ to find the answer.
Stevens Amendment (FY23):
Approximately $760,286 (42%) of the Illinois Adult Education and Literacy Program cost at Elgin Community College is federally funded under Title II, Adult Education and Family Literacy of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.