English as a Second Language (ESL)
English as second language instruction can benefit any non-native English speaker, 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. Courses are offered day and evening at the Elgin Community College Campus and satellite locations.
- As a student, you will be supported as you gain English language fluency for success in school and at work.
- Courses are offered day and evening at several locations, including the Elgin, Carpentersville, Streamwood, and the 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 who 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 at a level that ensures 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 make the 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 types of visas are not permitted to join the free adult education program.
Sign-up for classes using our online form, and we will contact you to complete the process.
All new part-time ESL students will be required to attend an informational workshop before registration. Placement will be done at the workshop. After attending the ESL workshop, all new ESL students must take a state-mandated test before registering. For part-time ESL classes, go to the front reception desk in Building K, email ABECRegistration@elgin.edu or call 847-214-6904 for more information about signing up for classes.
All part-time ESL classes are tuition-free for eligible students. Students on certain types of visas are not eligible to take Adult Basic Education classes. Please complete our form to sign up for classes, and we will contact you with details. Full-time ESL classes for all English language learners through our Intensive English Program are not free.
To register for classes to prepare for the High School Equivalency (HSE/GED®), please complete our form to sign up for classes, and we will contact you with details. Note: An assessment of academic skills will help determine appropriate placement. You cannot be currently enrolled in high school to attend.
Elgin Community College is a community partner and offers high school equivalency (HSE/GED®) preparatory classes, ESL classes, and job search services for community members. Many of our students also take advantage of ECC’s workforce development services. Sign-up for classes using our online form, and we will contact you to complete the process.
Llamar al 847-214-6904 para inscribirse en un programa.
To sign up for the official GED® test, visit ged.com. Registration is done online, but testing is done at a testing site on a computer. ECC is a GED testing site. You can register for tests one at a time or more than one.
Important: The GED®test is not an online test. In addition to passing the four subject area tests, Illinois has a Constitution test requirement. You may have passed the Constitution test while they were in an Illinois high school. If so, you need to deliver proof of passing (obtained from the high school) to your county’s ROE.
The Constitution is covered in our HSE classes, so our students are prepared to pass the Constitution test. Students and non-students can take the Constitution test at their county’s ROE or in the testing center at ECC. Fees for an official transcript and certificate are paid to the ROE after passing all of the tests. After completing these steps, you will receive an official Illinois High School Equivalency certificate and transcript from the Regional Office of Education.
Approximately $612,638 (36%) 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.