English Language Program (ESL)

At a glance

What: Courses in English as a second language (ESL)

Who: Adult learners who want to know and use English better

Why: Improved English usage leads to better job opportunities, academic performance, and quality of life in the U.S.

Questions? Contact Julie M. Dahl at languages@dcs.wisc.edu or 608-262-5929.

Upcoming courses
(Click class title for details and to register)
12 sessions; Tue & Thu, Oct 31-Dec 12, 10-11:30am (no class Nov 23)  •  $250
5 weeks; Wed, Nov 1-Dec 6, 5:30-7pm (no class Nov 22)  •  $130
6 weeks; Thu, Feb 15-Mar 22, 5:30-7pm  •  $150
4 weeks, Sat, Mar 3-24, 10am-1pm  •  $195
5 weeks; Thu, Apr 5-May 3, 5:30-7pm  •  $130

Find the English course that's right for you

General English

Improve all English language skills

Professional and Academic English

For graduate students, researchers, and working professionals

Test Preparation

Prepare for university admissions

Enrichment English

Go beyond the basics

Summer Programs for International Students

Visit UW-Madison during the summer months

Who can take English courses?

English Language Program courses in Continuing Studies are open to the public. Any adult who lives, works, or studies in the Madison area can register and attend, and anyone in the world may sign up for online courses. Learners may include:

  • Permanent U.S. residents
  • UW international students and their spouses
  • Visiting scholars and their spouses
  • Working professionals
  • Residents of University Apartments

How do I choose an English course?

Learners may take an online placement test to determine their level. In addition, please read the course descriptions to learn about course topics.

Does UW-Madison Continuing Studies provide the I-20 form?

No, we do not provide the I-20 form because the English courses in Continuing Studies are part-time. Students with an F-1 student visa must enroll in a full-time language program such as the Intensive English Program at UW-Madison.

Does the Continuing Studies English Language Program offer classes for children?

No, the English courses at UW-Madison Continuing Studies are for adults.

Are there full-time English courses at UW-Madison?

Yes, the Intensive English Program at UW-Madison provides quality instruction to adults who wish to improve their proficiency in English. There are full-time 15-week programs in the Fall and Spring semesters and an 8-week Summer program. Classes begin at the low-intermediate level.

Links to Related Sites and Resources

About UW-Madison Continuing Studies

The Division of Continuing Studies supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea by providing access to educational resources to nontraditional students, lifelong learners, and the community. The division's primary role comprises leadership, administrative oversight, and marketing responsibility for UW-Madison's noncredit offerings, credit outreach, and summer session. The division also advises and admits adults seeking to enroll as University Special or Guest Students.

Click here to view a complete list of Continuing Studies Languages programs.