English as a Second Language (ESL)

Our Program is a comprehensive Adult English as a Second Language Program offering over 40 ESL classes to men and women with widely divergent language abilities and backgrounds. We instruct nearly 400 students annually who hail from about 40 countries and speak 30 different languages.

Students learn in an “immersion-type” atmosphere. To enhance the classroom instruction and encourage language development, students are provided with opportunities like daily drop-in conversation groups, one-on-one and small group conversation practice with community volunteers, etc. Workshops on topics of interest such as presentation skills, job search tips, and everyday survival skills are also included.

We collaborate with the Princeton Public Library and Princeton University and offer our ESL students interaction with community members in an educational environment.

Classes are available year-round with sessions starting in September, January and July. In addition, short-term classes are offered at various times during the year. The curriculum meets the needs of all adult English language learners from beginners to advanced students seeking work readiness skills and courses to prepare them for post-secondary education.

Students can choose from core classes, which integrate all four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, to classes targeted to a specific skill. There are classes dedicated to conversation, listening, reading, pronunciation, grammar and writing. At registration, each student is assessed using a national standardized test in order to be appropriately placed in class.

Our ESL Program puts into action the YWCA’s mission to empower women and eliminate racism through our free classes that help tear down obstacles facing some of our community members. Our free High School Equivalency preparation classes equip students to take and pass the exam necessary to obtain a New Jersey High School Diploma, and our free citizenship prep class gives students the information and self-confidence for their naturalization interview.

As a multicultural center, the YWCA Princeton serves as a safe meeting place for students to interact with one another. Its atmosphere fosters friendships and promotes self-confidence, encouraging students to take an active role in the community as citizens, parents, and workers. We introduce students to varied cultures with emphasis on our own local culture, not only in the classroom, but also in informal settings, such as our potluck luncheons.

Our Princeton campus is easily accessible by bus and car. We offer free parking, and child care is also available on the campus.

We invite you to meet with us to discuss your particular English language needs and how we can accommodate you.

Placement Test: Students new to the program must make an appointment to take a short placement test before enrolling. Please call 609-497-2100, ext. 329, to make an appointment.

Book fees: Book fees generally average $25-$35 per class in addition to the tuition. Students must bring their own pens, pencils and notebooks for journal writing.

Childcare: Childcare is available for most class times.

Parking: Free parking is available at the YWCA.


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