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Continuing Education Certificate Programs

Photo of students studying English as a Second Language (ESL)

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

Since 1989, the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Lehman College in the Bronx has offered ESL classes on a full-time or part-time basis to everyone interested in improving their English skills for personal and professional reasons. Classes are affordable, follow a flexible schedule and are taught by dynamic instructors in a student-oriented environment. These ESL courses also provide the students with opportunities to enter degree programs or pursue other training.

Learn and Study English On-line or In-person

Join us from New York City or from wherever you are in the world!

Our ESL program is designed to help you improve your employment prospects, access higher education, earn credentials, and communicate effectively in the Bronx, in local US communities, and in the English-speaking world. Classes are affordable, follow a flexible schedule, and are taught by dynamic instructors in a learner-focused environment.

Most classes are conducted on-line using Zoom and are “synchronous,” that is, in real-time (Eastern Standard Time). Only select sections offer in person instruction. The modality for each section is noted by clicking on the Class Schedule or Register Online icons above. To participate effectively in our on-line courses, you will need high speed internet and, preferably, a computer or tablet with microphone and video capability. Cell phones may be used but are not ideal.

Please note: The price of required e-books is not included in the course fees.

Our ESL Course Offerings:

Intensive English Program (IEP)
If you are a committed learner who is focused on college, graduate school, or professional advancement, this course is ideal for you! Designed for of all levels of proficiency, you may elect to focus on particular skills in the morning or afternoon.  However, if you desire an 18-hour per week instructional program, enroll in both courses, Grammar/Reading/Writing and Listening/Speaking/Pronunciation, for a genuine immersive experience.

Reading, Writing & Grammar

2H 15m per day 4 days per week

Basic Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (AM)
Sessions: 28
Total instructional hours: 63
Modality: On-line
Start dates every 8 weeks

Listening, Speaking & Pronunciation

2H 15m per day 4 days per week

Basic Schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (PM)
Sessions: 28
Total instructional hours: 63
Modality: On-line
Start dates every 8 weeks

ESL Evening Courses
If you work during the day or have limited time to study, our evening program is ideal for anyone who has demands on their time and wants balanced instruction in all skills.

2H 00m per evening 2 days per week

Choice of Basic Schedule: Monday and Wednesday (PM) or Tuesday and Thursday (PM)
Sessions: 12
Total instructional hours: 24
Modality: On-line
Start dates every 8 weeks

English for Beginners – Ingles para Principiantes
In this course, you will build foundational communication skills to make daily life in the US more navigable.

En este curso, los estudiantes desarrollan habilidades de comunicación fundamentales para hacer que la vida diaria en los EE. UU. sea más navegable.

2H 00m per evening 2 days per week

Choice of Basic Schedule: Monday and Wednesday (PM) or Tuesday and Thursday (PM)
Sessions: 12
Total instructional hours: 24
Modality: On-line or In-person
Start dates every 8 weeks

English for the Workplace
Start the weekend off moving closer to your goals! Using authentic English language materials and media, this course improves your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in everyday workplace interactions.

2H 40m per day 1 day per week

Basic Schedule: Saturday (AM)
Sessions: 9
Total instructional hours: 24
Modality: On-line
Start dates every quarter

ESL Private Lessons

Adding private lessons to your schedule is a highly effective tool to get the targeted language help you need. By working with one of our skilled instructors, you can customize the learning objectives to fit your unique needs and accelerate your progress. Our lessons give you access to the undivided attention and expertise of a qualified instructor who will offer relevant interventions and guidance with impact to move you effectively towards your specific academic or professional goals as quickly as possible.

Agregar lecciones privadas a su horario es una herramienta muy eficaz para obtener la ayuda en el idioma específico que necesita. Trabajar junto a uno de nuestros tutores capacitados le permite personalizar su aprendizaje para que se adapte a sus necesidades únicas y acelerar su progreso. Nuestras lecciones le brindan acceso a la atención particular y la experiencia de un instructor calificado que ofrecerá intervenciones relevantes y orientación con impacto para moverlo de manera efectiva hacia sus objetivos académicos o profesionales lo más rápido posible.


Customize lesson time (AM or PM) and length from 30-120 minutes

Customize frequency of lessons from 1-5 meetings per week

Customize your start date

Privates lesson plans may be purchased in 5, 10, 15, or 20 hour increments and are available for individual study or small group study of 2, 3, 4, or maximum 5 students.

For additional details, including pricing and policies, start building your plan by submitting our request form. We will match you with an instructor according to your needs, areas of interest, and availability. Once matched, a private payment link will be sent.

Testing and Placement

The Lehman College ESL Program uses the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT) to place students in sections of similar ability. The OOPT is an online, multiple-choice exam which tests ability in grammar, vocabulary, reading, and listening. It takes around one hour to complete. Your speaking, writing, reading and listening skills are verified by our instructors, and if necessary, placement is adjusted. After registration, you will be sent a link to the test, which can be taken from any computer (sound required).

International Students (F-1 student visa status only)

The Lehman College ESL Program is legally authorized to enroll non-immigrant alien students.  However, due to the on-going pandemic, there are unique regulatory considerations.   If you have already established and currently maintain F-1 visa status, our team will be happy to discuss the transfer process with you and help you determine the best program start date based on your situation.  You will need to complete the ESL  Application form and send it to Brenda Perez, Be sure to include your email address. There is a $100 dollar (U.S.), non-refundable, application fee that must be submitted with the application. After you receive your acceptance letter, you must contact The International Student & Scholar Office for detailed instructions on the transfer process. In order to maintain F-1 status, students enroll in both the AM and PM portions of the Intensive English Program to fulfill the 18 hours of course work per week full time study requirement. 

If you are outside the USA and have yet to secure F-1 visa status, we will be able to offer an I-20 once in person classes resume.  In the meantime, we hope you will consider joining us online from your home country.

Transitioning from the ESL Programs to Lehman College

Undergraduate Study at Lehman College
As a qualified, enrolled student, you may be recommended by your teacher to sit for the Transfer Placement Evaluation (TPE). The TPE is offered three times per year.  If you place into credit-bearing ESL or English Composition courses at Lehman College, you will be exempt from submitting English Proficiency scores (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/Duolingo) required for Lehman College undergraduate admission for the next available intake.

Graduate Study at Lehman College
We will provide guidance on the admission process if you desire to study at the graduate level at Lehman College.  While an English proficiency score is still necessary for most graduate programs, we offer help with understanding specific admissions criteria, for example, how to write a Statement of Purpose, who to ask for Letters of Recommendation, and how to successfully complete the application.

Common European Framework

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions that can be divided into six levels; for each level, it describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing.

The following table gives an indication of these levels.

Lehman College is an ETS Authorized TOEFL iBT® Test Center

The TOEFL® Test Gives You an Advantage:

Most Widely Accepted

Most Popular

Most Convenient Choice

The TOEFL test is the most widely respected English-language test in the world, recognized by more than 10,000 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the United States. Wherever you want to study, the TOEFL test can help you get there. Please visit / and register now.

Coordinator Contact:



+1 718 960 5838 (English)

+1 718 960 8659 (Español)