ESL Academic Courses

ESL Student Course Sequence

Once students are placed, they must complete the ESL course sequence in order before they can take English 101. Reading (080-level) and Writing (090-level) courses are linked, which means that they are taken together, at the same time. Course descriptions are available online.

ENGL 081/091: Beginner Reading/Writing (6 credits)
ENGL 071: Beginner Listening and Speaking (3 credits)

ENGL 082/092: Intermediate Reading/Writing (6 credits)
ENGL 072: Intermediate Listening and Speaking (3 credits)

ENGL 083/093: High-Intermediate Reading/Writing (6 credits)
ENGL 073: High-Intermediate Listening and Speaking (3 credits)

ENGL 084/094 ESL: Advanced Reading/Writing (6 credits)
Make sure to register for the ESL version of 098/099

English 101: English Composition (3 Credits)
ESL students can only take English 101 after completing ENGL 098/099 ESL and ENGL 073.

Community College of Philadelphia has been offering English as a Second Language (ESL) to students from all over the world for 30 years. With more than 800 students from more than 50 countries, we understand the questions and needs that are unique to our diverse student body.

The College’s ESL course sequence develops students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking skills so that they can succeed in an American cultural environment. Students must complete all of the courses in the ESL course sequence with a final grade of “C” or better before enrolling in classes within their degree program.

Contextualized ESL courses in business (BUSINESS 098/099 ESL) and health care (HEALTH 073) are also offered, which means that students can take ESL courses that focus on business or health care content.

New Students

New students must first apply to the College and complete the application process. After new students complete the admission application, they may take the placement test on Main Campus, Bonnell BG-14. This test will determine which ESL courses students need. Learn more information about the placement test.

International Students with F-1 Visa


Resources/Services for All ESL Students

  • Students can always make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to get help with course registration.
  • Important dates regarding registration can be found on the College’s academic calendar.
  • All ESL information can be found on the ESL Unit's two bulletin boards, which are located at the top of the stairs of BR and right next to Room BR-21, the English Department.
  • Twice every semester, ESL instructors meet in one room to help ESL students register for ESL and other courses. Please check the ESL Bulletin Board and/or ask ESL professors for exact dates. (Usually in November and March.)
  • Our Multilingual Hub is located in the Library and serves as a place where students can rest, work, get tutoring and much more.

Which ESL Course Type is Right for You?

How many times per week can you come to campus?

  • 1 time a week: Try our HYBRID course options.
    This type of course meets in person, on campus, once a week, and the rest of the work is done online.
  • 2 or 3 times a week: Your best option would be REGULAR 15-WEEK or 10-WEEK courses.
    These courses meet in person two or three times a week, either on Mondays and Wednesdays; Tuesdays and Thursdays; or Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • 4 or 5 times a week: The 7-week IELP (INTENSIVE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM) would be a great way for you to quickly complete your required ESL courses. Classes meet 4 times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP)

The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) gives students the opportunity to complete their ESL courses in a short period of time – only 7 weeks. IELP students can now complete 6 ESL courses in one semester.

Who should register for IELP programs?

In IELP courses, there is a LOT of work in a very short amount of time. Students who choose to register for IELP courses must be prepared for the heavy workload. Before registering for IELP courses, students could consider:

  • Do I have work or home obligations?
  • Do I need to arrange for child care?
  • Am I able to come to campus 4 times a week?

These are the things students should consider before registering for IELP courses. Additionally, students with Financial Aid should check to see how many credits per semester are covered.

What is the IELP schedule?

Following is a sample of a weekly schedule of IELP courses:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8 to 11:30 a.m. Reading/Writing 8 to 11:30 a.m. Reading/Writing

No Class: Take Advantage of Multilingual Hub Activities and Services

8 to 11:30 a.m. Reading/Writing 8 to 11:30 a.m. Reading/Writing
Break Break Break Break
1 to 2:30 p.m. Listening/Speaking 1 to 2:30 p.m. Listening/Speaking 1 to 2:30 p.m. Listening/Speaking 1 to 2:30 p.m. Listening/Speaking