ESL Program


ESL Helps Non-native Speakers Communicate in English

Meet Your Goals | Enroll | Curriculum | Classroom Environment

Learning a second (or third or fourth…) language is a big commitment. No matter what your background or current English language skills, North’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program is here to help you meet your goals and welcome you back as you take the next step — and then the next — to greater success in your life here in the U.S.

Meet Your Goals

Your success could come in many forms: Learning how to fill out a rental application or a healthcare form. Sharpening your English language skills to find a new job — or a better job. Communicating with your neighbors or your child’s teacher. Getting a promotion at work or specific job training skills. Preparing for college or university study. Becoming a lifelong learner so you can continue to work on language skills after leaving the program.

Whatever your needs and dreams, friendly ESL instructors are here to help.

About Enrolling

See Steps to Join ESL Classes.

At step 4/orientation, students are registered for available classes. ESL classes are in high demand, so you may have to wait an additional quarter before joining a class. 

Carefully Structured Curriculum

North’s comprehensive 6-level ESL program takes you from beginning level English skills to advanced. After testing, advisors place you in the appropriate level class. Subdivided levels make sure you are prepared for the next step.

You’ll  get help with reading, writing and grammar, speaking and listening, pronunciation, workplace skills, beginning computer literacy and citizenship. Useful English prepares you for “real world” needs and college-level reading and writing.

Tutoring from the Writing Loft supports you along the way with one-on-one coaching, and specific career training programs with an I-BEST option help you develop workplace and language skills at the same time. The ESL Medical Terminology class prepares you at levels 5 and 6 for healthcare career programs. ESL Transition Week helps upper level students who are thinking about moving into college-level classes in career training and transfer programs

Supportive Classroom Environment

North’s large, diverse student body comes from nearly every country in the world, ranging in age from 18 to 85. The faculty are experienced, caring and respectful.

You can take up to 22 credits of English – that’s 22 hours/week—for just $25, with a flexible class schedule (part-time or full-time, daytime or evening, on or off campus) to fit around work and family schedules. And financial aid is available to help with books and supplies — through Workforce Education (WorkFirst, LEP, FSET) or the NSC Education Fund.

Note: Students must have green cards or be immigrants, refugees or U.S. citizens.

Bonney Blends Safety & Challenge in ESL Classes

Curtis Bonney, MFA
ESL Instructor

An enthusiastic instructor with lots of background in the literary arts and music, Curtis Bonney says he likes to create a “safe space” in the class, then challenge students to work with each other to take risks and responsibility for their learning. On a good day, he feels more like a music conductor than a lead singer.


I am an immigrant, so I took ESL classes, first to improve my English and then because I needed to learn about the medical field to care for my family. When I heard about the Medical Terminology class, I took it, and it was very helpful. I learned the common terms in the medical field, and it felt better when I would go to the clinic and take my family. The ESL instructor was encouraging that nursing was a good career. Later, when I decided to stay in the U.S., I decided to go into nursing. I took the LPN program and am now in the RN program at North.

I want people to know about the ESL program. It is very important and very helpful to those coming to America. Encouragement is important. When I didn’t know a lot, the teachers gave me confidence to talk with people and make friends. In ESL I improved my English and because of that, I could go further to study a career. I am very appreciative that the program and teachers gave me this chance.

—Yongmei Liu
ESL graduate, LPN, now in RN program

ESL Program

Academic Advisor
Shan Lackey
(206) 934-7303

Basic & Transitional Studies Division

IB 2407c
Division Contacts
(206) 934-4720
Mailing Address
NSC Basic & Transitional Studies Division
9600 College Way N
Seattle, WA 98103
Curtis Bonney

Classes | Map | People | Directory | Calendar


Need a NetID?

Students: Set one up now!

Employees: See your supervisor.