English Language Learners

We are here for you.

Here is how you can access help from us during the summer semester:

The School of Academic Advancement is available for virtual, phone and limited in person advising appointments. To schedule an appointment with a Transition Specialist/Academic Advisor, please call (608) 258-2440, extension 1 or email saa@madisoncollege.edu.

Fo ESL General Assistance: saa@madisoncollege.edu

For ESL (TABE E) and General TABE Testing Inquiries: saatesting@madisoncollege.edu

We are available by phone Monday – Thursday 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

We guarantee kindness and safety in mind as we navigate the new normal. Learn more about our health and safety plans for the fall semester. https://madisoncollege.edu/covid


At Madison College, all English Language Learners can get the help they need to succeed in school, work and in life. Our English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are free and provide you support to improve your reading, writing and oral language skills. We offer Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced ESL classes, we have the right courses for all of your needs! 


To take ESL classes at Madison College, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Reside in the state of Wisconsin
  • ESL Courses Eligibility Requirements
    Currently, we do not offer ESL classes to tourists visiting for temporary travel, au pairs or individuals with temporary visas. This includes individuals with visas sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WESLI, or other institutions of higher education. If you are a professor, student or spouse of a scholar please consider additional community resources and off-campus options (PDF) available to you. 
    If you are interested in becoming or maintaining the F student visa, please visit our ​Center for International Education services at Madison College.
  • New Students


    If you are new to Madison College and/or have never taken any ESL classes:


    Step 1:  Create a New Student account

    Step 2:  Take an ESL Test.  Please allow 2.5 hours for the test.

    To take the test remotely, schedule an appointment by clicking on the link below.  You will be asked to provide your name, email, phone number and student ID#.

                      Remote Testing:  Schedule ESL Test Here

    To take the test on-campus, attend one of our open testing sessions on Mondays and Thursdays at the Goodman South Campus, Rm 127.  Plan to arrive between 9-10:30am or 2-3:30pm to allow enough time for testing.


    For questions, please contact our office at contact (608) 258-2440, extension #1 (ESL) or email saa@madisoncollege.edu  

  • Returning Students

    Please contact our office at (608) 258-2440 Option 1 and we will tell you if you need to take the ESL Placement Test, or help you register for ESL classes virtually or in-person. 

  • ESL Classes

    You must have updated ESL test scores in order to register for classes. If you are unable to enroll, please call 608-258-2440 Option 1. 

  • Success Stories
    Meet Bertha Ortiz-ESL Success Story at Madison College

    Bertha (Mexico)

    Bertha started in beginning ESL and earned her GED at Madison College. She learned English so she can communicate better with her co-workers and her supervisors at her job. 



    Meet Lili Jones - Madison College ESL Success Story

    Lili (China)

    Lili was brand new to the country when she began taking ESL classes. She earned her GED at Madison College and is enrolled in the liberal arts transfer program at Madison College and wants to attend UW-Madison.



    Abondio - Madison College ESL Success Story

    Abondio (Sudan)

    Abondio started in ESL and finished his 5.09 HSED in 2014. He has a technical certificate in Machining from Madison College.

  • Community Resources

    Madison College also works together with community partners to offer ESL classes at other locations around the Madison area. These classes take place in a flexible lab setting so you can attend when it best fits your schedule. You don’t need an appointment to take ESL classes at one of these outreach locations, you can just drop in and register during scheduled class time. Contact the School of Academic Advancement at (608) 258-2440 for more information about off-campus options. (PDF)

  • Regional ESL class offerings

    Madison College offers ESL courses for students living outside of Dane County.  We offer courses in our Eastern Region at the Fort Atkinson Campus (827 Banker Rd, Fort Atkinson, WI) and the North Region at UW Baraboo (1006 Connie Rd, Baraboo, WI).  The program offers classes at the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.  Classes are scheduled from 5:30pm – 8:30pm two nights per week.  Students in the intermediate and advanced level will take ESL courses, along with a course designed to improve their professional communication skills and leadership skills in order to improve employment opportunities.  To get registered, see the steps below:


    Step 1:  Create student account

    Step 2: Sign up for ESL Orientation and Registration Session


    Fort Atkinson: Schedule Test Here


    Baraboo/Reedsburg: Schedule Test Here


    For questions, please contact Oscar Diaz (ODiaz3@madisoncollege.edu) or 920-568-7216.

English Language Learners may also find these Madison College resources helpful: