English as a Second Language (ESL)

Build confidence in your English skills

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Fall registration for the ESL program is now closed. Please check again in November.

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.

ESL Classroom instruction

Who can enroll

ESL students must be at least 16 years old. Students under age 19 must provide additional approvals. Individuals with F1 or F2 (international 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 (closed)

You need to currently live in the Austin Community College service area and:

  • have a working email address
  • upload a picture of a government-issued photo-ID with date of birth

If you don't have a Social Security number please make an appointment with an Adult Education staff member who will provide you with an alternate ID number for the application.

After you create your account, choose Adult Education.

If you are 17 or 18 years old, you must upload additional underage paperwork.

You need a copy of a withdrawal letter from the last school you attended (if in Texas) or certification of homeschooling AND one of the following:

  • Parent/Guardian Consent Form (click to download)
  • 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 upload a copy of an official court order. A withdrawal letter and parental consent documents are not required with a court order.

Need help? Click here to watch videos on how to apply or contact the Adult Education office.

Choose your classes

After you apply, you will take a free placement 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. You must attend class 75 percent of the time to stay enrolled, so make sure you choose a class that works with your schedule.

View a schedule of ESL classes
All ESL classes Fall 2020 will be online.

Student support and resources

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.

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  or F2 (international 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.