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Learn more about Literacy & Citizenship:

Learn English, improve your reading skills or prepare for the U.S. citizenship exam with resources available at the Library, including:

  • English as a second language classes and book discussions
  • Weekly conversation clubs
  • Citizenship preparation courses
  • A special collection of books, CDs and DVDs to help improve English skills

Do you need help with writing a letter or resume, completing an application or using Library learning tools? Fill out a Book a Librarian request to meet with our Literacy Coordinator.

English as a Second Language

We offer two free ESL class sessions every year, one in late winter/early spring and another in the fall. Each 12-week session begins with in-person testing and registration to determine placement. Online and phone registration are not available. Classes must be taken as a block from the beginning of the session and cannot be started part-way through.

Intermediate ESL


To enroll in Intermediate ESL you must:

  1. Attend orientation on Aug. 13 or Aug. 14 at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights. Orientation will be held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on both days. 
  2. Attend one date of testing/registration: Aug. 19, Aug. 21, or Aug. 26. Testing will be held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on all three dates. Please choose one session.

Classes will meet at Central Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. starting Sept. 5.

Reading 101


This session is for advanced students who have tested out of standard ESL courses.

To enroll in Reading 101 you must:

  1. Attend orientation on Aug. 13 or Aug. 14 at the Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights. Orientation will be held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on both days. 
  2. Attend any two dates of testing/registration: Aug. 20, Aug. 21, and Aug. 22. Sessions will be held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on all three dates. 

Classes will meet at Central Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. starting Sept. 3.

ESL Tutoring

Need help improving your English reading and speaking skills? Get one-on-one help with a tutor. Call the Elgin Literacy Connection at (224) 215-6515 to be matched with a tutor in the Schaumburg area. 

If you're interested in helping others, we're also looking for volunteer tutors! You'll need to complete a 12-hour training and commit to spending 1 to 2 hours per week with an English language learner. If you're interested, visit the Elgin Literary Connection website or call them at (847) 742-6565. Trainings also will be held periodically at the Library; our next one is in October 2019.

Conversation Clubs

We host free discussion groups for intermediate students who want to use and improve their English speaking skills.  

Space is limited; email Claudia Baranowski at cbaranowski@stdl.org if you are interested in attending.

Online Tools for Learning English

Brainfuse HelpNow

Tutors are available from 2 - 9 p.m. every day with live homework help for math, science, English, social studies and adult learning. Take ACT, SAT, AP, GED, TOEFL and U.S. citizenship practice tests. 

Citizenship Classes

Prepare for your naturalization exam and interview with our free, 12-week citizenship classes. To register, you must attend the first class and present a green card. Online and phone registration are not available.

Testing and registration for the fall 2019 class will be held Friday, Sept. 6.

Classes will be held on Mondays and Fridays from 6 – 9 p.m.

Can't make it to class, but still want to prep for the test? Try ProCitizen.

Read to Learn

This 10-week class is designed for adults who already speak English but want to improve their reading and writing skills. We'll test your reading level at the first class so we know the best ways to help you learn. You must attend the first session to register; online and phone registration are not available. 

Testing and registration for the fall 2019 Read to Learn class will be held at the Central Library on Monday, Aug. 26 and Wednesday, Aug. 28. Please choose one session.

Sessions will be held at the Central Library from 9:30 a.m. – 12  p.m.: one on Mondays and one on Wednesdays.

More ESL Resources

Contact these community organizations directly for more information about their English as a Second Language classes: