English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes

English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at Cincinnati State include academic ESL courses for students enrolled at the College and free ESL classes for community members.  

Course content helps learners improve English proficiency by building skills in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and grammar usage.

Which ESL classes are best for me?

Academic ESL ClassesFree Community ESL Classes
Participants study intermediate-level vocabulary, writing, grammar, and other communication skills for using English in a US college setting.
Participants learn beginner- and intermediate-level skills for communicating using everyday English in a variety of situations.
Students must attend class regularly during the semester and complete homework assignments. Usually students must buy a textbook as well.Students in free community ESL classes do not have to buy a textbook, and do not have to complete homework assignments.
To take academic ESL classes you must apply to the College and register for classes.You do not have to register for the free community ESL classes.
To take academic ESL classes you must pay tuition and fees.There is no cost for the free community ESL classes.
Academic ESL classes may be required for admission to a Cincinnati State degree or certificate program.  Free community ESL classes do not count toward requirements for Cincinnati State degree or certificate programs.

What is the schedule for Free Community ESL Classes?

Free Community ESL Classes begin the second week of each semester.

Summer Semester: May 21st – August 15th

Fall Semester: September 3rd – December 12th

All are welcome! No cost and no registration required. Join the classes whenever you wish.

  • Classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays – 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • No classes between November 22 – 26 for Thanksgiving Break
  • Beginner Group – Main Building 370
  • Intermediate Group – Main Building 372
Questions about Free Community ESL Classes

Do I need to register to attend a Free Community ESL class?

You do not have to register for free ESL classes. Simply come to the classroom at the time and location listed, and you can join the class!

Where do I go for the free ESL classes?

Classes take place at the Cincinnati State Clifton Campus. The address is 3520 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45223. Class days, times, and room numbers are listed above.

When can I start the free ESL course and how long does it take to complete?

Free Community ESL Classes are offered every semester. See the Academic Calendar for the start and end dates of each semester.

Do I need to take a placement test?

No placement test is needed for Free Community ESL Classes. Participants can decide which group they wish to join, and they may switch groups at any time.

I need help preparing for the TOEFL/IELTS. Do you have any classes for that?

Cincinnati State does not offer any classes specifically for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). However, students preparing for one of these tests might want to take one of our Academic ESL Classes. See “Which ESL Class is Best for Me?” above to learn more about academic ESL classes at Cincinnati State.

I want to get an F-1 (international student) visa. Can you help me with that?

For information about obtaining an F-1 visa, please see the International Student Admissions web page.

I have other questions– who can I talk to?

Contact Daniel Zimmer, Department Chair for Language Learning (daniel.zimmer@cincinnatistate.edu)

More about ESL Academic Courses

Cincinnati State offers two levels of academic ESL classes, focusing on the writing, reading, speaking, and listening skills needed for college-level coursework.

  • Students who want to earn credit for ESL academic courses must complete the admission process and register and pay for courses.
  • All courses are offered on Clifton Campus.
  • The schedule of classes for each semester is in the Course Search section of this website. 

F-1 Visa and I-20 sponsorship: International students cannot obtain an F-1 (international student visa) solely for taking ESL classes at Cincinnati State. For more information, please visit our International Student Admission page.

Non-degree seeking students: If you are a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, and you are interested in taking academic ESL classes, please contact Department Chair Daniel Zimmer (daniel.zimmer@cincinnatistate.edu) to schedule an initial consultation and placement test.


Daniel Zimmer
Chair, Language Learning Department