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English Language Skills

Montgomery College offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. There are three ESL programs for adult learners whose first language is not English.

ESOL two happy female students
Adult ESOL and Basic Skills for College and Careers
These programs are the most basic. See below for more information about the Adult ESOL and Basic Skills for College and Careers (AEBSCC) program and qualifications.
ESL Students
ESL, Noncredit program
These programs are intermediate to advanced levels. See below for more information about the ESL noncredit program.
International ESL Students
English Language for Academic Purposes/Academic English
This is the most advanced level. See below for more information about the English Language for Academic Purposes/Academic English (ELAP) program. 
Montgomery College is the most diverse community college in the continental US. We participated in the #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign to affirm that we welcome students from all backgrounds.

Note: Non-immigrants who need to show enrollment (F and J status) cannot attend the ESOL program. If you need the I-20 for an F-1 student visa, you must show proof of your English language proficiency level before being admitted to Montgomery College.  See English Language Assessment & ESLnew window for more information.


Program Details

Three male ESOL students in a classroom
Adult ESOL and Basic Skills for College and Careers

This program is for you if you want:

  • English for life, work, and the community.
  • To learn to read in English.
  • Basic Skills development.
  • English to prepare for specific jobs or job-training programs in healthcare, customer service, building trades, and technology.
  • There are additional programs for computer literacy, citizenship, and Vocational ESOL and  job training for refugees and asylees. 

Placement test: CASAS tests or other tests. Depending on the class or program there may be additional entrance requirements. 
Locations: Many sites throughout Montgomery County.
Tuition: Most Beginning to Intermediate ESOL level classes are free. This varies by program and class. Attend Registration or Orientation session to learn more. If  you have a F1 Visa or J1 Visa you may not take these classes.

This program offers:

Learn more about the Adult ESOL Program.

ESL students and Instructor in a classroom
ESL, Noncredit Program (formerly APPE)

This program is for you if you want: 

  • To work on your reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, listening, and speaking skills. 
  • Help in building a strong foundation for academic English. 
  • To improve your English to prepare for the Accuplacer ESL.
  • To take a TOEFL preparation course.

Placement test: MC ESL Remote Placement Test.
Locations: Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campuses
Tuition: Yes.

Learn more about the ESL Program.

Young male student in the library
ELAP, Academic English, English Language for Academic Purposes Program

This program is for you if you want: 

  • Classes that focus on English for academic purposes. 
  • To study for a degree and take some credit courses while working on your English language skills within an academic context. 
  • Classes higher in level than most courses in the other two English language programs. 

Placement test: Accuplacer ESL Test and Writing Sample
Locations: Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campuses.

Learn more about the ELAP Program.