English as a Second Language (ESL)

Build confidence in your English skills

The ESL Program now has an Application Waitlist. 

Please scroll down to learn how to join the Application Waitlist.

ACC's free ESL courses help non-native speakers learn basic English to support student goals for career advancement, college, High School Equivalency (HSE), and family and community.

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.

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), J1 or J2 (Exchange Visitor), or B1/B2 (business/tourism) visas are not eligible for this program. This includes expired, voided or canceled visas. Contact the Adult Education office if you have a question about your visa.

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

If you are 17 or 18 years old, you must upload a Parent/Guardian Consent Form (click to download) AND one of the following if you last attended school in Texas:

If you cannot provide these documents, please contact us to request an exemption form.

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.

Join the waitlist today

New applicants:

  1. Click the “Join Waitlist” button and click “First time user click here” to create your account
  2. Once you are logged in, click on the purple button “Apply Now!” under “Adult Education”
  3. Click one time on the red button “Join Waitlist” under ESL

Returning applicants:

  1. Click the “Join Waitlist” button and login using your email address and password
  2. Once you are logged in, click on the purple button “Apply Now!” under “Adult Education”
  3. Click one time on the red button “Join Waitlist” under ESL

Join Waitlist

Need help? Click here to watch a video on how to join or contact the Adult Education office.

I’m on the waitlist - now what?
The ESL program enrolls new students 5 times each year. It is important that you continue to check your email! Once you are selected, you only have a week to respond to enroll.

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

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.