English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL)

Mother teaching child at homeTJACE classes include over 35 FREE morning and evening options in ESL, High School Flex (GED or NEDP), basic computer and employability skills. 

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.

ESL Classes are 6 hours/week and offered in 3 ways:  in-person at the Adult Learning Center at IX (ALC), online scheduled time (Zoom), combined in-person and online classes.  Learning Circle meets once a week in person and is an informal and supportive multilevel class that builds communication skills through fun projects and presentations while learning about Charlottesville and our community.  

All new students must schedule an assessment. 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.

How do I register?

Ault learners in a group and smiling

Sign up for an Assessment session. The TJACE team wants you to get into the class that best meets your needs. The first step is to come to TJACE for an assessment. All new students must take an assessment prior to starting classes. During the assessment, you will meet with an advisor and register for classes. 

Registration is open for fall classes. Students must register in person at the Adult Learning Center (ALC) at IX Art Park. All fall session classes are FREE. Fall classes run September 5–December 14, 2023. View the fall class schedule and select your classes now.

What types of ESL classes are offered?

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. 

ESL 4/5 CANVAS Online is a flexible class designed to meet the needs of independent learners who wish to further develop academic skills and language for academic study, careers and advanced life skills. This course includes online reading, writing, listening, and grammar practice combined with a weekly, 3-hour instructor-led virtual classroom practice and a 1-hour virtual student-led group practice. Students are expected to study independently for a minimum of 3 hours weekly.

College ESL Classes on the PVCC Campus: PVCC offers two Writing Composition classes on campus to prepare college students for academic writing. Academic reading, oral discussion, opportunities to use the library, writing center, and other college resources are an integral part of the classes. These classes earn 4 college credits each and are developmental classes. Contact an advisor to get you started, and contact the PVCC testing center to take the placement test to guide you to your level.

For more information, call 434-961-5461 or email tjace@pvcc.edu.

English Now! Free Learning Circles.

Learning Circle meets once a week in person and is an informal and supportive multilevel class that builds communication skills through fun projects and presentations while learning about Charlottesville and our community. 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 tjace@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 in partnership with PVCC Workforce Services designed to help you build your English skills while providing core training in the fields of healthcare and skilled trades. 


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