English as a Second Language


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Fall Quarter begins September 26.

New students: Please fill out the BTS Application for ESL, GED, or High School+ classes.
ESL orientations are full for the Fall Quarter. Please apply for the Winter Quarter if you are interested in taking ESL classes.

BTS Application

If you are returning after taking a break, please contact us to get registered.

Do you have questions?

  • Get help in person on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays from 9 a.m - 3:30 p.m. in Room 3122 on Central’s main campus. Campus Entry Procedures.
  • Call or email us at 206.934.4180 or btsinfo@seattlecolleges.edu
  • Join us through Zoom – see hours below.

Zoom Drop-In Hours for general questions about ESL, ABE, GED, and HS+ classes


  • 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Connect here (ZOOM)

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are offered to help non–native speakers to communicate in English through the development of skills in listening and observing, speaking, reading, and writing. At the beginning level, emphasis is on improving listening comprehension, vocabulary development, and English structure. The courses advance to notetaking, composition, oral presentation, and class discussion at the more advanced levels. We have levels 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5A, 81A, and 81B. For more details on the pathway check out the ESL Pathway Map.

These classes cost $25 per quarter. We can only serve immigrants and refugees in this program. Individuals with F, M, B, Student, or J visas are not eligible for Basic & Transitional Studies and should contact International Programs for enrollment options.

Once you complete ESL 81B, you are ready for Transitional ESL and other college level courses. Learn more by visiting the Transitions Center, or exploring the Areas of Study for certificate and degree options.

Welcome New Students

All new students must attend an orientation. Morning and evening orientations for new students will be held before the upcoming quarter. The orientation includes program information, assessments, goal setting, and registering for core classes. Tuition ($25) is for orientation; the classes you are placed in at the end of orientation are included in this tuition. Orientation must be completed before you can enroll in class.

Get Started

  • Contact Basic and Transitional Studies to register for an orientation
  • Attend orientation
  • Pay the $25 tuition
  • Start class



Transitional ESL (ESL 98/99)

Transitional ESL is a 10-credit linked class of ESL 98 and ESL 99 (College Prep English for Non-Natives II). They cannot be taken separately. The class focuses on preparation for college-level reading and writing.

Students can place into ESL 98/99 by passing ESL 81B (see above) or by choosing this level through English Directed Self Placement (DSP).

Transitional ESL is a college course and costs the standard college tuition rate.

Class schedule and offerings vary each quarter. See the online class schedule for further description of the class and how it is configured.

For questions about Transitional ESL, please visit the Transitions Center.