ESL: English as a Second Language

Learn more about the differences between the credit and noncredit ESL courses Oakton offers.

Continue to improve your English speaking, reading, and writing skills. Day and evening classes are available. Students are to register in person only on the date shown for each location. Call 847-635-1426 for more information.

Free ESL Classes

Evening Classes

Daytime Classes

Low-cost Tuition ESL Classes

Computer Lab for ESL, Literacy, and GED Students


Free ESL Classes*

About the ESL Program:

  • Designed for adults 17 years and older whose native language is not English
  • Teaches listening, speaking, reading, writing, and conversation skills;
  • Introduces students to U.S. culture;
  • Offered free to students through Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act as administered by the Illinois Community College Board.

*ESL classes are not for tourists, but for those who have come to the U.S. to live.

Au Pairs
Per Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) regulations, au pairs are required to take post-secondary classes and cannot enroll in Oakton’s free ESL classes. They may, however, enroll in the College’s low-cost tuition classes.

Course Information

  • Students may be admitted until registration cut-off date if space is available
  • College-bound or advanced ESL students should call 847-635-1821 to see if they have sufficient English skills to take college classes.

Counseling and Registration

  • Students must bring identification and Social Security number, if available
  • Admission to free ESL classes is only available to students who register in person
  • Special registration dates are listed below.
  • Children are not permitted to attend registration or classes.

Oakton Community College is committed to equal access to educational opportunities for students with disabilities. To request disability accommodations, contact Teresa O’Sullivan at 847.635.1759.

*Free classes are funded by the Illinois Community College Board. In compliance with Section 511 of Public Law 101-166 (the Stevens Amendment), approximately 37 percent of the adult education program is federally funded.

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Evening Classes


Maryville Academy (Ziggy Building)
1150 North River Road, Des Plaines (Enter from Central Road)
Registration: Wednesday, June 27, 6-8:30 pm
Ongoing Registration: Mondays, 6-8:30 pm until July 16
Class Meets: Monday and Wednesday, 6-8:30 pm
First Class: Monday, July 2, 6-8:30 pm


Lincolnwood Public Library
4000 West Pratt Avenue, Lincolnwood
Registration: Tuesday, June 28, 6-8:45 pm
Ongoing Registration: Tuesdays only until July 17, 6-8:45 pm
Class Meets: Tuesday and Thursday, 6-8:45 pm
First Class: Tuesday, July 3, 6-8:45 pm

Niles Public Library
6960 West Oakton Street, Niles
Registration: Tuesday, June 28, 6-8:45 pm
Ongoing Registration: Tuesdays only until July 17, 6-8:45 pm
Class Meets: Tuesday and Thursday, 6-8:45 pm
First Class: Tuesday, July 3, 6-8:45 pm

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Daytime Classes


Evanston Public Library (Main Branch)
1703 Orrington Avenue, Evanston
Registration: Friday, June 29, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Ongoing Registration: Tuesdays only until July 17, 10 am-12:30 pm
Class Meets: Tuesday and Friday, 9:30 am-12:30 pm
First Class: Tuesday, July 3, 9:30 am-12:30 pm

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Citizenship Education Classes

CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION                         No fee required
Instruction in U.S. history and government to prepare for the citizenship examination.
HIS A15-101, DPL, 9 Mon., 7/2, 6-8:30 pm
HIS A15-102, SKL, 9 Fri., 7/6, 6-8:45 pm


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Low-cost Tuition ESL Classes

General Description:
Classes focus on meeting special needs or developing a specific skill. They supplement the free ESL classes. Classes are designed for students who are at an intermediate or advanced level.

Tuition fees are subject to change. You may register by mail or in person. Please register before the first day of class. Unlike free ESL classes, tuition-charged classes close after the second class. For information, call 847-635-1426.

Processing Fee:
Registrants, including seniors, will be charged a $9 non-refundable processing fee at the time of each registration. However, students who register online at Oakton's Web site will only be charged once per semester for an unlimited number of classes. Those registering in person, by mail, or fax, will be charged a $9 fee with each registration form.

Textbooks will be available for purchase at the first class session for cash only.

Tuition fees are subject to changes in State funding.

For intermediate ESL students. Improve listening and speaking skills to function more effectively in business and social situations. Expand your understanding of cultural differences.
COM A50-101, OC/SK, 11 Tue., 6/12, 9 am-12 pm CRN 50075
Registration: Tue., 6/5, 9 am-12 pm
COM A50-102, OC/SK, 11 Tue., 6/12, 6:30-9:30 pm CRN 50076
Registration: Tue., 6/5, 6:30-9:30 pm

For intermediate ESL students who have basic English literacy. Develop skill in writing for information, making complaints, and requesting refunds. Get help in understanding and answering business and social letters. No class 7/4.
COM A53-101, OC/SK, 11 Wed., 6/13, 6:30-9:30 pm CRN 50077
Registration:Wed., 6/6, 6:30-9 pm
COM A53-102, OC/SK, 11 Wed., 6/13, 9 am-12 pm CRN 50078
Registration:Wed., 6/14, 9 am -12 pm

INTENSIVE ESL   Fee: $199 (17 sessions)
Classes meet three times each week and provide an opportunity for students at a high intermediate level to develop extensive language skills. No class 7/4.
COM A19-101, OC/SK, 17 Tue./Wed./Thu., 6/5, 12:40-3:20 pm
COM A19-102, OC/SK, 17 Tue./Wed./Thu., 7/18, 12:40-3:20 pm
Registration: Pre-registration and placement test are required. Call 847.635.1426 to schedule a test date.

INTENSIVE GRAMMAR REVIEW   Fee: $149 (11 sessions)
For intermediate speakers of ESL. Learn to speak and write better by improving your knowledge of English grammar.
COM A70-101, OC/SK, 11 Mon., 6/18, 6:30-9:30 pm CRN 50080
Registration: Mon., 6/11, 6:30-9:30 pm

IDIOMS AND VOCABULARY BUILDING   Fee: $149 (11 sessions)
For intermediate speakers of ESL. Develop your awareness of and skills in using common American idioms and idiomatic phrases.
COM A54-101, OC/SK, 11 Mon., 6/18, 9 am-12 pm CRN 50079
Registration: Mon., 6/11, 9 am-12 pm

TOEFL PREP SEMINAR    Fee: $169 (11 sessions)
Colleges and professional accrediting agencies require that non-native speakers pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Prepare for the TOEFL with timed practice on similar tests. Become familiar with test formats and language problems encountered by other non-native speakers.
COM A45-101, OC/SK, 11 Tue, 6/12, 6:45-9:45 pm CRN 50074
Registration: Please see instructor on the first day of class.

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Computer Lab for ESL, Literacy, and GED Students

Open only to students enrolled in Oakton’s free ESL, Literacy, GED, and Bridges classes. Practice English or Math skills on the computer with the help of an instructor. Nine (9) seats available on a first come/first served basis.

Location: Oakton Community College, Room A210, Skokie
Days and Times: Mondays/Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Availability Dates: July 9 to August 29, 2018

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