You have to file the change of status to an F-1 BEFORE the expiration (or before you fall out of) J-1 status. The program for your F-1, in this case the ESL program, should start before the expiration of your J-1 status. Then you have to continuously maintain your F-1 by getting an I-20 with any succeeding school or program you attend. It was not in your question but are you subject to the 2 year foreign residency requirement?
If you are subject to the 2 year foreign requirement on the J-1 you should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to ensure this wont raise any issues at the time of doind the proposed change of status.