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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. You must attend the first session to register; 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


In-person testing and registration for the spring 2019 Intermediate ESL class will be at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Jan. 31. Please choose one session.

Class will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the Central Library Adult Classroom. 

Reading 101


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

In-person testing and registration for the spring 2019 Reading 101 class will be from 9 a.m. – noon on Jan. 8, 9 and 10 at Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights. You must attend any two sessions.

Class well be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in the Central Library Adult Classroom. 

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.

An evening drop-in class is available for any interested student every Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Hanover Park Branch. No registration is necessary; just stop by!

ESL Book Discussions

Join a book discussion with other English-language learners. Our next discussion will be 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Hoffman Estates Branch. We'll be talking about Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

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.

Please choose one session:

Registration at the Central Library will be held Monday, Jan. 28 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Classes will be held on Mondays and Fridays from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in the Adult Classroom.

Registration at the Hoffman Estates Branch will be held Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Classes will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Meeting Room. 

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 spring 2019 class will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 28 and Wednesday, Jan. 30. Please choose one session.

Sessions will be held at the Central Library from 9:30 a.m. –  12:30 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: