English as a Second Language (ESL)

Build confidence in your English skills

ACC's free ESL courses help non-native speakers learn basic English for college or the workplace, or simply become more comfortable in everyday communication.

Students advance at their own pace through four levels of classes that teach writing, reading, listening, speaking, and pronunciation. Small class sizes and fun activities provide plenty of opportunities to practice what you learn.

English as a second language professor

Who can enroll

ESL students must be at least 16 years old. Students under age 19 must provide additional approvals. Individuals with F1 (student) and B1/B2 (business/tourism) visas are not eligible for this program. Contact the Adult Education office if you have a question about your visa.

Apply online

If you are 19 years old or older and you have a Social Security number, you can apply for ESL classes online.

Apply Now

If you receive an error when entering your Social Security number, refer to the frequently asked questions below. If you don’t have a Social Security number, visit an ACC Adult Education office to obtain an ACC Student ID number before you complete the application.

Apply in person

If you are 16 to 18 years old, or if you would like help completing the application, you can sign up for ESL classes in person. All applicants must have a government-issued photo ID that includes their date of birth. Examples are a passport, driver’s license, consulate ID, voter ID, or federal detainee ID. School IDs or copies of IDs are not accepted. Bring your ID and any required documents to an Adult Education office.

If you are 17 or 18 years old, you must provide a copy of a withdrawal letter from the last school you attended (if in Texas) or a letter from a parent if you were home-schooled, along with one of the following:

  • Parent/Guardian Consent Form
  • Court order
  • Proof that you live separate from parent/guardian (utility bill in your name, marriage license, or rental agreement)
  • Attestation of Homelessness

If you are 16 years old, you must provide a copy of an official court order and photo ID. A withdrawal letter and parental consent documents are not required with a court order.

Choose your classes

After you apply, you will take a writing and speaking test to help place you in a class best suited for your abilities. An ESL specialist will help you choose and register for classes that work with your schedule. View the ESL Class Schedule for locations and times. You must attend class 75 percent of the time to stay enrolled, so make sure you choose a class that works with your schedule.

Student support and resources

ACC offers a variety of services and resources for English language learners. View Adult Education Student Support for information about tutoring, disability accommodations, free Capital Metro passes, and more.

Frequently asked questions

If English is not my native language, but my goal is to pass my high school equivalency (HSE) exam (such as the GED®), should I take ESL classes or HSE classes first?
This is best addressed on a case-by-case basis. Lower-level English speakers might want to start in ESL classes. HSE classes do not focus on many of the skills ESL students need to learn. Often students who start with ESL classes progress through the levels faster than students who started in an HSE class. ACC offers a transition class for higher-level ESL students who want to get their HSE certificate. Contact the Adult Education office to discuss options.

Why do I get an error when entering my Social Security number on my application? If you have applied to an ACC program before, your Social Security number is in ACC’s system and you previously have been issued a student ACCeID number. To locate your ACCeID, go to the ACCeID Manager and enter your information. Use your ACCeID to continue your application.

What if I need accommodations to participate in the classroom?
Classroom and testing accommodations are available for eligible students. You must provide official documentation about your disability. If you don’t have documentation, ACC's Student Accessibility Services Office or Adult Education staff can help you identify strategies to help you succeed. Contact an Adult Education office if you have questions.

My permanent residence is abroad. Can I participate in ACC's ESL program?
Anyone 16 years old or older living permanently in the U.S. may enroll in ACC ESL classes. Those under age 19 must submit additional documentation. Individuals with F1 (student) and B1/B2 (business/tourism) visas are not eligible for the program. Call 512-223-5123 if you have a question about your visa.