Classes will begin on January 8, 2024 at East Lake Community Center.

The Kelly Administration is thrilled to announce that the City of Chattanooga will offer a set of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes beginning in 2024. The ESL classes are open to the public, free of charge, and provided by the Chattanooga Department of Equity & Community Engagement. The classes will be held at the East Lake Community Center beginning January 8, 2024. Orientation for the classes are scheduled for December 13, and 15 from 9 a.m. until noon at East Lake Community Center. Interested participants can register by clicking here or by scanning the QR Code below. 

“While New Americans are required to demonstrate an ability to speak English at the time of their naturalization exam, ESL is not just about learning the language. It’s about bridging cultures, expanding connectivity, and unlocking opportunities,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “I applaud the Office of Equity & Community Engagement and the partner organizations for taking the initiative to help remove what can be a barrier for non-native speakers and accelerating the process of integrating into our community.” 

Southeast Tennessee Adult Education, funded through the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, will take the lead on instructing the courses. The courses will be grounded in a workforce development and civic engagement focus while teaching English to non-native speakers. The classes will give students an opportunity to prepare for the HiSet (the high school equivalency exam), giving students a pathway toward a high school education and resources needed to prepare for college or secondary education.

“One of the most significant barriers that our clients try to overcome every day is simply being able to understand English,” said Kelly Valcarce, Director of the Office of New Americans. “I’m thrilled to work with passionate and engaged partners who understand the critical importance of setting every single citizen in this city up for success. With this group’s help, I am confident that we can spread this into every community center in Chattanooga.”

Scan the QR Code below for more information and to register: