Boston Public Library’s cost-free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs for adult learners are an essential community resource for a growing and diversifying populace. The library offers programming online and at multiple locations, facilitated by a dedicated team of BPL staff and literacy volunteers.

Coursework includes: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced English-language classes; small group tutoring; and volunteer-led Conversation Groups for students to practice English skills with their peers in flexible, comfortable, real-world settings.

For more information and to register for classes, please contact the Literacy Services department at literacyservices@bpl.org or 617.859.2446.

At the Central Library in Copley Square, visitors can also speak to a staff member at The Community Learning Center located on the Second Floor of the Boylston Street Building.

Upcoming Events

What we have to offer

Come to Our ESOL Classes and Conversation Groups

See all our upcoming ESOL classes and conversation groups at many different Boston Public Library locations and times.

ESOL Tutoring

Our ESOL tutoring program is for students learning English. The groups have 2-4 participants and one native-English speaking tutor.

Volunteer to Help People Learn English

Help non-native English speakers learn English, and/or help adults develop basic reading and writing skills. Learn about volunteering here.

ESOL Classes

ESOL Classes are held both virtually and in-person. Classes are free but limited to residents of Massachusetts. Registration is required for all classes. To register for a class or for more information, please call 617.859.2446 or email literacyservices@bpl.org. Classes offered:

This is a class for students with little to no English skills. Students will learn the basics of English, including how to give personal information, talk about likes and dislikes, describe everyday activities, use present and past tense, and more!

ESOL Conversation Groups

Practice speaking English in an informal and friendly group setting with other ESOL students and new English speakers. Groups are led by a volunteer, native English speaker and are suitable for all levels of learning. Conversation Groups are held both virtually and in-person. For the current conversation group schedule, please visit our calendar.

ESOL Tutoring

Our tutoring program offers ESOL language learning opportunities 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. To sign up for tutoring or for more information, please call 617.859.2446 or email literacyservices@bpl.org.

Volunteer to Help People Learn English

Boston Public Library offers several opportunities for adults interested in volunteering with our ESOL community. Volunteers can work with either adult ESOL learners or adults who are in need of basic reading and writing skills to help them achieve their individual life goals. Volunteers can choose to work with smaller groups (2-4 students) or larger groups (up to 25 students) looking to improve their conversational English. Other volunteers can work one-on-one with an individual helping them to improve basic literacy skills, employment preparation, or test preparation.

For more information about volunteering, please email volunteer@bpl.org or call 617.859.2304.

Resources for Learners & Teachers

Carousel of Resources for English as Speakers of Other Languages Students

Literary Resources of ESOL and ABE Learners

A guide with information about classes, materials and organizations to help ESOL & ABE learners.

General Literacy Resources for Adult ESOL and ABE Educators

This guide offers tips & suggestions, online resources, and physical materials for Adult ESL and ABE educators.

Citizenship & Immigration Guide

Find citizenship exam materials, legal services referrals and learn about upcoming information sessions.

Carousel of Resources for English as Speakers of Other Languages Students

Mango Languages

An interactive language-learning resource supporting dozens of languages, including Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Hindi, and Spanish.

Mango Reader

Mango Reader, a Google Chrome extension, allows you to get translations in real time on any website. It requires a Mango Languages account.

LearningExpress Library

Test prep materials & practice exams for K-12, GED, college admissions, citizenship, professional licensing, certification & career prep.

Carousel of Resources for English as Speakers of Other Languages Students

Massachusetts Adult Literacy Hotline

The Hotline helps adult learners with referrals to over 300 adult education programs in reading, math, test preparation, and more.
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