Public Engagement

English Language Learning

  • English has become the language of international communication. 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 language (ESL). Our programming includes certificate programs.

    Our ESL courses are designed for students preparing for studies in the United States, professionals working in English-speaking environments, and anyone who needs to improve his or her spoken or written English for personal or career purposes.

    The coursework supports students with low-intermediate to advanced English proficiency. Students can take individual ESL courses or enroll in a full-time intensive certificate program that includes advanced language training to prepare for general or subject-specific study at a university.

    ESL Certificate Programs

    The New School's ESL certificate programs are an excellent start to university studies in the United States. They provide an intensive, immersive experience designed to help students succeed academically at The New School and improve their English language skills.

    ESL + University Preparation Certificate

    The ESL + University Preparation Certificate is a flexible program designed for international students who plan to attend a college or university in the United States but are not yet fully proficient in English. The program can be customized to each student's undergraduate or graduate degree goals and academic subject. Students benefit from core ESL classes (reading, writing, listening and speaking, grammar) as well as subject-related language training and activities.

    ESL + Design Certificate

    The ESL + Design Certificate is a special pre-enrollment program, offered in association with the Parsons School of Design, is for international students who wish to attend an art and design school in the United States but need to improve their English proficiency. Certificate.

    ESL + Music Certificate

    Offered in association with Mannes School of Music, ESL + Music Certificate is a unique language preparation program for international students who wish to pursue music study at Mannes. Note: This program is available only to students who have already been considered for admission to Mannes.

    ESL + Food Certificate

    The ESL + Food Certificate program 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.

    Students in these ESL+ certificate programs enjoy the same student services as degree-seeking students at The New School. This includes access to student health services, IT support, and libraries as well as the University Learning Center, which 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.

    ESL Courses

    Students who do not wish to enroll in a complete certificate program can sign up for individual ESL courses.

    Students must take a placement test to determine their course level before registering. Contact the English Language Studies Department at to learn more about registration or to schedule a placement test.

    Note: The New School does not offer English language courses for complete beginners.

    Grammar of English

    The emphasis of this course is on the way students use grammar in speaking and writing. Grammar classes are lively and active, with reading, discussion, videos, songs, presentations, games, and writing as well as more traditional exercises and quizzes.

    Academic Writing

    Students go through the writing process, from prewriting and organizing to drafting and revising. They learn the sentence structures, vocabulary, and writing techniques that will help them express themselves clearly in academic English.

    Listening and Speaking

    Students practice speaking and listening in a variety of informal and formal settings. They learn idioms and phrasal verbs, practice difficult pronunciation patterns and sounds, and acquire good presentation skills.

    Reading and Vocabulary

    The aim of this course is to increase students' reading speed, understanding, confidence, and enjoyment through practicing reading skills, building vocabulary, and reading and discussing a variety of texts at the appropriate level.


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