English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL)

Mother teaching child at homeTJACE classes include over 25 FREE morning and evening options in ESL, High School Flex (GED or NEDP), basic computer and employability skills. Most classes are virtual (Zoom) and self-study distance learning.  ESL1 is face to face and self-study distance learning.    

All new students must schedule an assessment. Contact Judy Robinson or call 434-961-5461 to get started.  

What is the ESL program? 

Thomas Jefferson Adult & Career Education offers classes for students of all levels, ranging from little to no ability to speak, read, or write English, to those who are ready to learn complex grammatical structures, read complex texts, and improve their writing. 

All classes incorporate civics education and job skills in the course. These classes allow students to progress at their own pace through a combination of teacher-directed lessons and at-home practice. Most classes are virtual (Zoom) and self-study distance learning. ESL1 AM is face-to-face and self-study distance learning. Access to the internet is required.

What do I need?

Students need access to a computer with internet, a working personal Gmail address, basic computer skills and the ability to work independently.

How do I register?

An assessment is required prior to registration for this program. Assessments can be taken at the Adult Learning Center. Call 434-961-5461 or email jrobinson@pvcc.edu for more information.

What types of ESL classes are offered?

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        View the spring schedule

TJACE @PVCC offers five levels of progressive adult ESL classes and bridges students to GED classes, workforce training, and college-level ESL and credit classes.

Beginner Levels

ESL 1 is for students with little or no ability to communicate in English. Students learn basic literacy and develop vocabulary and basic sentence structure to function in daily life.

ESL 2 is for students with some ability to communicate in English; this class addresses all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). At this level, students read and write at a basic level in English and they develop vocabulary and basic grammar. 

ESL Students LearningIntermediate Levels

ESL 3 is for students ready to further develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills for daily life, employment and further education and training. Students learn basic and complex grammatical structures, build general academic vocabulary, read increasingly difficult texts and write paragraphs. 

ESL 4 is designed to help students develop the academic skills needed for success. Grammar instruction focuses on complex structures, increasing accuracy, and fluency. Reading includes academic content. Writing instruction emphasizes personal narrative and responses to readings and discussions, using a general essay structure. This class serves to bridge students to high school equivalency learning options, workforce training programs and ESL 5.


Advanced Level

ESL 5 is for students who want to improve their academic English for college and careers. This course helps students develop stronger writing and critical thinking skills through reading, writing, discussion, and presentations. Students read and write a variety of essays including narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and expository. 

Flexible classes through ESL to Go! 

Advanced ESL to Go! CANVAS Online is a flexible, advanced level (4/5) class designed to meet the needs of independent learners who wish to further develop academic skills and language for academic study. This 13-week commitment includes online reading, writing, listening, and grammar practice combined with a weekly, 2-hour virtual classroom discussion. Students are expected to study independently for a minimum of 2 hours weekly. Course content focuses on academic English for college, careers, and advanced life skills. 

Self-Study ESL to Go! is a free independent learning option that combines online access to English language learning tools and the support of an ESL instructor to meet your specific language goals. Through individual, weekly (or bi-weekly),  virtual meetings, your instructor will guide and support your speaking, listening, reading comprehension, pronunciation, and writing practices. For more information, call 434-961-5461 or email tjace@pvcc.edu.

English Now! Free Learning Circles.

Students will improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills with fun, hands-on learning activities including using mobile apps. Day and evening classes are available. For more information, call 434-961-5461 or email tjace@pvcc.edu.

Practice English speaking skills - Dialogue Café

Adult speakers of all levels are welcome to participate in this free, drop-in English language conversation gathering. Dialogue Café is a friendly space and time for people to meet ESL learners and native English speakers from the community. Learn about and celebrate all cultures and share community information as you practice your English. No registration required. Come anytime, come often. For more information about Dialogue Café, contact hgordon@pvcc.edu or call 434-961-5461

Integrated English Skills for the Career-Focused Training Programs

Some students find it easiest to learn and practice their English skills while they prepare or train for a new career. TJACE@PVCC offers classes designed to help you build your English skills while providing core training in the fields of customer service and health care. 

4Work LogoWe are excited to announce a new career pathways class designed to help adult learners gain skills and experience sought by employers. The free 4Work class is for adults who are seeking employment and need to develop the following four skills required for work: customer service, work communications, core academic skills (reading, writing, math) and basic computer skills. Students can also earn the industry-recognized Retail Fundamentals Certification from the National Retail Federation. English language learners and those seeking a GED are encouraged to enroll. For more information and enrollment requirements for 4Work, contact Rebecca "Becky" Payton, Adult Career Coach, at rpayton@pvcc.edu.

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Prepare for the CNA exam while improving your English language skills. Begins in January 2021. For more information, contact Debbie Tuler at 434.961.5464.

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This 166-hour Integrated Education Training program includes a technical introduction to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) with English language instruction. For more details, contact Becky Payton at rpayton@pvcc.edu.


Thomas Jefferson Adult & Career Education @ PVCC 
935-A Second St., SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902 (map)

233 Fourth Street NW Charlottesville, VA 22903 (Across from the Staples office supply store downtown)(map)

VA Career Works Charlottesville Center 
944 Glenwood Station Lane, Suite 103 Charlottesville, VA, 22901(map)

PVCC Main Building 
501 College Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (map)

Fluvanna Adult Education Center 
14455 James Madison Highway, Palmyra,  VA (map)

PVCC Giuseppe Center (2nd Floor, Greene County Library)
222 Main Street, Stanardsville, VA 22973 (map)

Louisa County Public Schools (LCPS) Adult & Career Education Center 
815 Davis Highway, Mineral, VA (map