General English Classes


Empire State English offers English classes for students who wish to improve their English for personal, professional, or academic reasons. Courses are offered in person and online.


Program Overview

Private and Group Courses Available

Students can begin their English studies at any time of year at Empire State English since classes are offered year-round with a rolling admissions model.

Level - Beginner to Advanced

5 levels of English courses, from absolute beginner to advanced. English levels are determined by a placement test.

Elective and Specialized Courses

Elective and specialized courses are available and include pronunciation, conversation, presentation, and TOEFL preparation.

Part-Time ESL Program

Take between 5 and 40 hours of class per month.

Starting at $156.25 per month


General English Course Levels and Descriptions

Level 100

At the beginner level, students will develop an understanding of several aspects of grammar and synthesize that knowledge into sentences for written and verbal communication. Students will develop their speaking and listening skills using the simple present tense. They will have basic conversations and share information with others. In the reading and writing course, students will demonstrate the ability to construct grammatically correct sentences about a variety of topics including personal information and descriptions. Students will have the ability to read information for detail and share that information with others. In the pronunciation course, students will gain an understanding of specific aspects of pronunciation that will help them work towards intelligible speech and improved listening comprehension.

Level 200

In the integrated skills courses, students will continue to develop their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills using the simple past, past continuous, and future tenses. Students will develop their speaking and listening skills allowing them to carry on basic conversations, obtain goods and services, and extract information from short broadcasts. Students will develop skills in composing, revising, and editing a paragraph. They will write well-developed descriptive and opinion paragraphs. Students will speak intelligibly using their knowledge of syllable stress, silent letters, past tense endings, and intonation.

Level 300

In the integrated skills courses, students will continue to develop their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills with the narrative tenses. They will also use auxiliary verbs with a special focus on the present and past perfect, learn about phrasal verbs, and be able to express hypothetical situations. Students will develop their speaking and listening skills, allowing them to express their opinions, compare and contrast, and share their feelings about real and imaginary events. The focus of the reading course will be to mark up texts and to identify key facts, sequence events, and summarize information from a text. In the writing class, students will learn to link shorter elements sequentially, narrate a story, and construct three paragraph essays in a variety of formats including cause and effect, persuasive, compare and contrast, argumentative and narrative.

Level 400

In the integrated skills courses, students will use the future verb tenses (simple future, future progressive, and future perfect) in speaking and writing. They will be able to use auxiliary, modal, and full verbs. In the speaking course, students will interact with others with a degree of fluency and spontaneity on a wide variety of topics. The reading courses will help students understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization. For writing, students will produce a clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of opinions. They will be able to write a five paragraph problem-solution essay.

Level 500

As students prepare to transition to academic life, the integrated skills courses will allow students to master a wide range of grammatical structures and use them effectively in speaking and in writing. They will use a wide range of modals, understand idiomatic language, and use linking devices in speaking and writing. Students will learn to restate or discuss topics from a complex presentation as well as present about a subject including an introduction, supporting details, and a conclusion. Students will read and understand a variety of texts and be able to identify explicit or implicit meaning. The reading course will also help them continue to develop their critical thinking skills. Students will transition to academic writing by constructing a research paper on a topic of choice.


Student Support Services

Goal Setting

Do you need help choosing an English course and setting your personal goals? Our student advisors will meet with you before, during, and after your program to help you with your next steps.

Job Advising

Do you want to apply for your first job in New York or find the job you are most passionate about? We work with many of our local employers, and we will help you with the application process.

College Connections

Do you want to apply for a college degree or certificate program after you attend English classes? We will introduce you to our local colleges and help you apply for their programs.


Information to Help You Get Started


Placement Test

To ensure that you are placed in the right course level, you can take a placement test.

sample schedule

Part-Time Class Schedule

We offer both private and group English classes year round.

frequently asked questionS


 If you still have questions, please contact us or view our Frequently Asked Questions page.


What Our Students Say

At the beginning it was hard for me to take calls and to speak to native speakers. Professionally is not hard for me but the communication part is hard. As a result of this, you introduced me to learn English with Empire State English. After 4 months with Empire State English, I made huge progress in understanding AND speaking American English. I learned how to speak more clearly and now my callers never complained again that they could not understand me. Now I am far more confident in handling calls. The results delivered boundless positive feedback from callers. Even one caller said “You’re the 1st person I spoke to that makes any sense.”

N Tian, General English Student & CSEA Voucher Recipient

I have good memories from Empire State English. I was treated well and received a lot of help to improve my English as my second language. I have been promoted, so I have been receiving so much training. Hope was excellent in both workshops and never lost the attention of the participants. She is a great asset for the institution. I wish you and all the members of ESE happy holidays.

A Marriaga, General English Student & CSEA Voucher Recipient

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