About

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.

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:

Beginner English (for Spanish Speakers)

This is an adult beginner ESOL class for Spanish speakers with little to no previous experience learning English. Class is in English and Spanish. You 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.

Intermediate English
Advanced English

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.

As of January 31st 2022, we are pausing our recruitment for new ESL volunteers. We plan to resume in early Spring of 2022. 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

Carousel of Resources for English as Speakers of Other Languages Students

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