English as a Second Language | The New School in NYC

Public Engagement

English as a Second Language

  • English has become the language of international communication, and command of spoken and written English is important in business, the arts, and other professions all over the world. The New School has responded to this need by designing high-quality university preparatory training in English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL) for students with low-intermediate to advanced-level English. The program supports all the divisions of the university by helping international students whose academic programs require a certain level of language skills, but it is open to anyone who wishes to improve their English. Students can take individual courses or enroll in a full-time intensive certificate program depending on their purposes.

    The ESL+Design Certificate, offered in association with Parsons School of Design, is a unique language preparation program for international students seeking admission to colleges of art and design college in the United States.

    The  ESL + Music Certificate, offered in association with Mannes School of Music, is a unique language preparation program for international students who wish to pursue music study at a conservatory or university in the United States.

    The  ESL + Food Certificate was designed by The New School in collaboration with the International Culinary Center (ICC) for students who want to attend culinary school at the ICC, obtain a degree in Food Studies at The New School, or choose another career path within the food industry. 

    Placement Testing

    Students of ESL take an English placement test to determine their course level. Note: The New School does not offer English courses for complete beginners.


    All members of our English language faculty are certified professional teachers of English to speakers of other languages. Many are well-known and are published in the field of language education. Some are credited with developing innovative teaching methods and materials.

    Other University Resources

    The University Learning Center has a staff of trained ESL tutors who offer certificate students help with academic writing and with pronunciation, speaking fluency, vocabulary development, and presentation skills.