Pat Gibson 

ESL Program

Learn English

Our beginner, intermediate, and advanced conversation classes are geared toward adults eager to learn, write, and communicate more effectively in English. The classes focus on conversation and writing skills as well as helping students better understand U.S. culture.

Upcoming Class Dates

July 30-December 19, 2024

Tuesday and Thursday 

6:00-8:00 PM

Registration Dates: July 23 & July 25

July 30th enrollment is at capacity.

August 13, 2024-January 16, 2025

Tuesday and Thursday 

10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Registration Dates: August 6 & August 8

September 9, 2024-February 26, 2025

Monday and Wednesday

6:00-8:00 PM

Registration Dates: September 3 & September 4

October 7, 2024-March 24, 2025

Monday and Wednesday

10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Registration Dates: September 16 & September 18


January 14-June 5, 2025

Tuesday and Thursday 

6:00-8:00 PM

Registration Dates: January 7 & January 9

January 28-June 24, 2025

Tuesday and Thursday 

10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Registration Dates: January 21 & January 23

March 10-August 25, 2025

Monday and Wednesday

6:00-8:00 PM

Registration Dates: March 3 & March 5

April 2-September 22, 2025

Monday and Wednesday

10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Registration Dates: March 17 & March 19

*Registration is by appointment only. To be eligible to register, please complete the ESL Interest Form at the top of this page and complete all pre-registration forms sent to you. Walk-ins will not be admitted to registration or class. Students must complete all steps of the registration process to begin a class.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

The registration fee is $50 per person per session | Scholarships are available for those who need help paying the registration fee.

What is included in the cost?

Where are classes offered?

We only have ESL classes at our Rivers Avenue location.
6185 D Rivers Ave. North Charleston, SC 29406

When are classes offered?

Classes for all levels are offered in the morning and in the evening. 

Monday/Wednesday from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and Tuesday/Thursday from 10:00 am-12:00 pm.

Monday/Wednesday from 6:00-8:00 pm and Tuesday/Thursday from 6:00-8:00 pm.

We offer a special Saturday class for beginners. It is a 3-hour class and has 20 sessions for a cost of $180. Scholarships are not available for this program at this time. 

Can I join a class at any time?

No, we start a new round of classes approximately every two months. We rotate which class time is being offered. You will have more options if you are flexible about taking a day or evening class. Our classes are successful because we use a curriculum that builds on the knowledge you have already learned. You cannot join a class once it has started because you will not have language skills the rest of the class has already learned.

How do I know which level of English class I will be in?

Our certified instructors will administer a spoken assessment designed to gauge how well you speak and understand English. We will place you in the appropriate level class based on your assessment. Because your level determines the class you need, you may not be in the same class as a friend or relative, but you can attend at the same time and at the same location.

How long dos it take to learn English?

Many factors determine how quickly you can learn a new language. It varies for everyone. We offer 5 levels of classes at Trident Literacy beginning with our most basic class and ending with an advanced class. Each class is paced to be completed in 40 sessions which takes about six months. 

Can I bring my children/teenagers to class with me?

Students must be at least 18 years old to register and attend a class. 16 and 17-year-olds can attend with a registered guardian with prior approval from the ESL director. They are not registered for the class and will not be assessed, but they can listen and participate with you. We offer free child care for our family literacy participants on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. To participate in our family literacy program, children must be between the ages of 18 months and 8 years old.  

How do I sign up?

Registering for class is a multi-step process and it takes most students 1-2 months before they will begin their English class. The first step is to complete the English as a Second Language interest form. Based on your availability for class times, you will be emailed with your scheduled assessment appointment and your class start date. Depending on your availability and where we are at in our class calendar, it could be several months. We prefer to communicate questions and scheduling through email or text to use translation technology. Every person interested in taking a class must complete their own interest form and have their own assessment appointment. We cannot accommodate walk-ins.

I left a phone message or sent an email, and I have not heard back from you. What should I do?

We are sorry we missed your call or message. We are a nonprofit and operate with less staff than we need, and it happens. We appreciate your patience with us. The most important step is to complete the English as a Second Language interest form and verify you received an immediate email reply that we received your form. We recommend adding the reply email address to your email contact list so our emails do not get caught in your email's spam filter. If you have completed the English as a Second Language interest form and received our automatic email reply, you are in our system! We will be in touch. If you are concerned, please feel free to email us at to ask where we are in our ESL registration process and verify we have your information in our system.

Do you have translators or staff who speak Spanish?

We do not. We have over 40 countries and dozens of languages represented in our student population, and it is not possible to staff for that. We rely on translation technology to communicate between our staff and students during registration. Our classes are taught in English in an immersion format. The instruction is geared toward the student's English language ability. That is why the assessment is such an important part of the process. Our ESL administrators speak some Spanish, but they are not always available and are not fluent. We have many tools to help us communicate with English language learners in person. While it is not necessary, feel free to bring a friend who can help you translate if you have questions not answered on this website.