English as a Second Language

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Program Overview

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is free to attend and serves increasingly diverse members of the York community, with an average of 60 countries represented in the ESL Program each year.

English as a Second Language Civics Classes provide insight into life in the USA and help students prepare for the Naturalization Interview and Test.

New Students Must Fill Out (1) Form

How to Get Started

New students are invited to attend an orientation class and take an initial test to determine placement.

Students are placed in a class or with a tutor depending on class & tutor availability.

All students must fill out (1) Student Intake Form based on the student’s language preference.

About the Program

The ESL program is open to all York County residents (18 years and older) who would like to learn or improve their English literacy skills. Students may be placed in an appropriate level class, or they may be matched with a trained tutor.

There is no time limit for a student to participate, however students must be engaged in their work, come to classes and/or tutoring on time, and work within the rules of the York Literacy Institute.

Class Offerings

ESL Classroom

Classroom instruction is offered on six levels: Pre-Lit, Beginner, Low Intermediate, High Intermediate, and Advanced. Classes are held both daytime and evening. Students must register for classes.

Classroom Presentations

York Literacy Institute presentations facilitate health, workplace and financial literacies. Presentations include Credit Reports and Scores, A Balanced Budget, and Nutrition.  Workplace presentations are offered by members of the community who have expertise in areas of employment such as: manufacturing, robotics, health care, construction and service industries. These extra presentations help advance the knowledge and skills necessary to gain employment, access health and wellness information, and achieve self-sufficiency. 

One-to-One Tutoring

Students may request a trained tutor for one-to-one tutoring. A student may be placed in a small group tutoring session.


ESL Class Schedule

Classes are a hybrid of virtual and in-person class instruction. Students are subject to a mandatory temperature check upon entry to the building. You MUST fill out a Student Intake Form first (see above).

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Pre-Lit (in person or Zoom)






Beginning 1 & 2 (in person or Zoom)






Beginning ESL/Civics (in person) 4:30PM-6:30PM 4:30PM-6:30PM
Low Intermediate (in person or Zoom) 9:00AM-11:30AM 6:30PM-9:00PM 9:00AM-11:30AM 6:30PM-9:00PM
Intermediate ESL/Civics (in person)





Intermediate (in person or Zoom) 6:30PM-9:00PM 6:30PM-9:00PM
Advanced (in person or Zoom)



6:30PM-9:00PM 9:00AM-11:00AM

For additional information call 717-845-8719 or email Janelle Hertzler or Heather Lee

Meet Anyelina: A Recent ESL Student

Her Background

“I came to York in 2019 from the Dominican Republic. I was afraid about my language skills and very dependent of my husband. He was by my side all the time – when people asked me something I was looking to him to translate.

Two months later we made the decision that I had to study English and my husband found YLI. I have to be honest in the beginning I said, “I don’t want to study; it’s boring for me.” But when I saw the reality of this country and what a hard time it is being here without English, I started working hard, really hard.”

Her Experience

“I worked in delivery for 1 year, also I worked in FedEx packing, and I saw that work didn’t give me the opportunity to grow. Two years later I’m working at Cricket Wireless. Finding this job was a challenge because I’m still nervous when people ask me something. English is not my first language, and I’m trying to do my best. If I don’t understand something, its is no problem to ask again because we are human.

Nowadays, I’m working as a volunteer at WellSpan and I keep studying English at YLI with Engen Voxy software (provided by YLI).

“Something new for me is that I applied for HACC and I got accepted! Next year I’m going to start college.