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Lehman College

ESL
Lehman College Continuing Education

Contact Us: 718-960-8659              Email: esl@lehman.cuny.edu

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Since 1989, the ESL Institute has offered classes on the full-time and part-time basis to everyone interested in improving their English skills for personal and professional reasons. Some features of our programs include dynamic instructors, affordable rates, flexible schedules, opportunities to enter degree programs, and a student-oriented environment.

Office & Testing Locations:

Lehman College Campus Office:

250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Carman Hall 128
Monday - Thursday: 9am - 6:30pm
Fridays: 9am - 4:30pm
Saturdays: 9am - 1:30pm

CUNY on the Concourse Office:

2501 Grand Concourse, 3rd Floor
Monday-Thursday: 9am - 5:30pm, Fridays: 9am - 3pm
Saturdays: 9am - 12pm

For more information call 718-960-8659 or email esl@lehman.cuny.edu

Watch the Video below

International Student Application Process

International students who want to apply for the Intensive English Program should follow these steps:

Contact Brenda Perez, brenda.perez@lehman.cuny.edu for more details

Testing Hours

All new students must take the placement test and pay a non-refundable $20 testing fee, which will be deducted from your tuition cost when you complete the registration. The testing fee can be applied to any course for a period of one year from the day of payment.

  • Monday: Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Saturday: 9:00 am -12:00 pm

No appointment needed

For more information, please call 718-960-8512 or email: esl@lehman.cuny.edu

Intensive English Program

If your goal is to improve your language skills, prepare for university study or professional advancement, this intensive ESL program is designed for you! 

Full Time Course of Study Requirements for International Students in F-1 Status:

International student are required by the federal regulations to maintain full time course of study, which is 18 hours of instruction(attendance) per week as prescribed in in 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6) and (10)

(D) Study in any other language, liberal arts, fine arts, or other non-vocational training program, certified by a designated school official to consist of at least eighteen clock hours of attendance a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of classroom instruction, or to consist of at least twenty-two clock hours a week if the dominant part of the course of study consists of laboratory work;

Intensive English Program
First Semester Instructional Hours Per Week
ESL 14: Listening/Speaking/Pronunciation (Intensive) 9
ESL 15: Reading/Writing/Grammar (Intensive) 9
Second Semester Instructional Hours Per Week
ESL 16: Listening/Speaking/Pronunciation (Intensive) 9
ESL 17: Reading/Writing/Grammar (Intensive) 9

Part-Time Program

Evenings & Saturdays

These integrated skills classes will help you improve your grammar, reading, writing, and pronunciation skills.

ESL 11 Evening ESL

  • Intermediate & Advanced Levels
    10 sessions/30 hours $ 279 /COTC
Tuesday & Thursday 6:15 - 9:15 pm
  • Spring A: Jan 16 - Feb 15
  • Spring B:  Mar 6 - Apr 12 (off 4/3 to 4/5)
  • Spring C:  May 1 - 31

ESL19 Saturday ESL

  • Intermediate & Advanced Levels
    10 sessions/30 hours $ 279
Saturday 9:15 am - 12:35 pm
  • Spring A: Jan 20 - Mar 17
  • Spring B: Mar 24 - Jun 9 (off 5/26)

ESL writing Courses

Take these courses to improve your academic writing skills for college preparation or job promotion. Are you ready for college? This class will boost your confidence in your writing skills and prepare you for the CUNY assessment tests.

ESL 30 Writing

  • 10 sessions/30 hours $ 279
Mondays & Wednesdays 6:15-9:15 pm.
  • Spring A: Jan 17-Feb 26 (off 2/12, 19)
  • Spring B: Mar 19-Apr 25 (off 4/2 to 4/5)

Customized ESL

English courses in different professional fields (e.g. business, health care, etc.) can be designed for groups of students per request from employers.

Private ESL Lessons

ESL100

Private ESL lessons can be arranged for those who prefer one -on-one instruction.
(1.5hr minimum) $100 p/h

Registration Information

You can register using the following options:
In person:

  • Lehman College - Carman Hall, Room 128
  • CUNY on the Concourse - 3rd Floor, 2501 Grand Concourse

By phone: 718-960-8659

Common European Framework

The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions that can be divided into six levels; for each level, it describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing. The following table gives an indication of these levels.


Level Group Level Group Name Level Level Name Description
A Basic user A1 Breakthrough or beginner
  • Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
  • Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have.
  • Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
A2 Waystage or elementary
  • Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
  • Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  • Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
B Independent user B1 Threshold or intermediate
  • Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  • Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
B2 Vantage or upper intermediate
  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
C Proficient user C1 Effective operational proficiency or advanced
  • Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
  • Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
  • Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
  • Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
C2 Mastery or proficiency
  • Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
  • Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
  • Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.