Boston Public Library
Literacy Services
Central Library
617-859-2446

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PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to support the basic educational needs of adults by imparting the skills and knowledge that will not only prepare them to reach their personal and professional goals, but assist them with creating their own opportunities. In addition, we hope to help each individual develop confidence in themselves and engage critically with the world around them.

The Literacy Services Department, along with the Dudley Literacy Center, provides resources and programs that are designed to serve the needs of the adult literacy and ESL populations in and around Boston. Regular programs include traditional ESL classes, ESL Conversation Groups, Reading and Writing instruction for low-literate adults, and a volunteer led tutoring program.

ESL CLASSES AND ESL CONVERSATION GROUPS
    Click here for the current calendar of events.

  • ESL Classes –The Boston Public Library offers ESL instruction in a traditional classroom environment.  Classes range from beginner – for people with little or no experience with English – to high-intermediate.  Classes are free; however, registration is required.  For more information and to register please call 617-859-2446 or email mmurray@bpl.org .
     
  • ESL Conversation Groups – Practice speaking English in an informal and friendly group setting with other ESL students and new English speakers. Groups are led by a native English speaker.

SMALL GROUP TUTORING

Our Small Group Tutoring program offers both English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) skills instruction.  ESL groups are composed of 2-4 participants and one native-English speaking tutor.  Participants have the chance to work on improving their conversational skills, as well as reading and writing.  ABE groups traditionally have less students and focus on improving basic reading and writing skills toward individual student goals.  For more information and to register please call 617-859-2446 or email mmurray@bpl.org.

REFERRALS

Boston and the surrounding communities have several excellent community-based organizations that offer ESL and ABE (Adult Basic Education) classes and programs.  The following websites provide listings of programs based upon needs and locations:

LEARN ONLINE

Our online learning programs are ready whenever you want to study.

  • LearningExpress Library - Log on and practice for SAT , GED, TOEFL and other education tests. Learn-A-Test is interactive and is based on official tests that will help you improve your scores on academic, civil service, military, and professional licensing and certification exams. It provides immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and individualized analysis of your score. All you need is your BPL card or eCard number.
  • Mango Languages - Mango Languages is a great online language learning program for both English and Foreign Languages.  For the English learning component, users can select their native language as the language through which they learn English.

VOLUNTEERING

The Literacy Services Department offers several opportunities for volunteers to work with either adult English-as-a-Second- Language (ESL) learners or adults who are in need of developing basic reading and writing skills towards their individual life goals.  For example, some volunteers may work with a small group of 2-4 ESL learners or facilitate a large drop-in group of 5 – 25 people who are looking to improve their conversational English.  Other volunteers may work with an individual helping him or her to improve basic literacy skills for employment or for tests such as the HiSet. For more information please call 617-859-2446 or email mmurray@bpl.orgClick herefor an application.

LITERACY RESOURCES

Adult Basic Education and ESL Resources (PDF, printable list)

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact literacyctr@bpl.org