English as a Second Language Resources

Below you’ll find information about Library and Community Resources for those learning English.  If you have additional questions, remember that Library staff are always happy to help – whether you’re looking for books, downloading a language-learning app or asking about our drop-in tutoring program. 

Books, DVDs and Audiobooks

  • The Urbana Free Library has books, book and CD sets, and films to help with the study of English as a Second Language.  Many materials about this topic start with the call number 428.24.  You can also search CU Catalog using keywords “ESL” or “English language foreign speakers.”
  • The Library provides a collection of grammar/language textbooks and other reading materials in our special Adult Education Section.  The collection is located on the second floor between the 400 and 500 Dewey sections.

Databases

  • Urbana cardholders can access two language learning databases, available for desktop, tablet or mobile device:
  • Mango Languages:  an online resource that offers courses in English for speakers of over 20 languages.  Mango provides multiple exercises as well as blogs, films, words of the day, and more.  Register here to use Mango
  • Pronunciator:  a comprehensive American English course for speakers of over 90 languages with over 50,000 instructional phrases and 10,000 instructional videos.   Register here to use Pronunciator.

Programs 

  • Project READ Drop-In Tutoring at The Urbana Free Library:  Eligible adults are invited to Drop-In Tutoring in the Library’s Lewis Auditorium on most Mondays from 9:30 – 11:30 am.   (Check the Library calendar for updated information.)  For more information about eligibility and other drop-in locations, contact Project READ.

Meeting Rooms

  • Small study rooms for group study or tutoring sessions are available and may be reserved in advance.   Call the Information Desk to find out more or to reserve a study room: (217) 367-4405
  • Questions?  Stop by the Adult & Youth Services reference desk on the second floor or call 217-367-4405.

Community Classes and Conversation Groups

Below you will find listings of community classes and groups for learning English.  These programs are organized by religious organizations, educational institutions and volunteer groups.  Thanks to Project READ for this resource list which was updated and verified as of September 2019.  Project READ is made possible by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, using State funds designated for literacy.

Free, Formally Instructed English Language Classes

Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign
(217) 351-2890
https://www.parkland.edu/Main/Academics/Departments/Humanities/Areas-of-Study/English-As-A-Second-Language
Fees vary / Registration required

Urbana Adult Education
211 North Race Street, Urbana
(217) 384-3530
http://urbanaadulteducation.org/english-as-a-secondlanguage/
Registration required

First Presbyterian Church of Champaign
302 West Church Street, Champaign 
Contact:  Jeanette Pyne (217) 356-7238 or jeanette@firstpres.church
https://www.firstpres.church/esl/
Registration required

First United Methodist Church
304 South Race Street, Urbana - 2nd Floor
Contact:  Danielle (217) 367-8384 or office@fumc-urbana.org
https://fumc-urbana.org/
Email in advance / Childcare available

International Hospitality Committee Friendship Group (U of I)
Orchard Downs 2044A South Orchard Street, Urbana
Contacts include:  Ms. Elizabeth Song (elizabethsong13@gmail.com), Ms. Christa Knust  (christaknust@gmail.com), Ms. Susan Taylor (taylorstst@gmail.com), and Ms. Renee Mullen (reneemullen1@comcast.net).
Email in advance / Intermediate levels

International Hospitality Committee Friendship Group (U of I)
Community United Church of Christ - Room 6
805 South 6th Street, Champaign
Contacts include:  Ms. Abby (Abhilasha) Gulhane (gulhane2@illinois.edu), Ms. Mary Kruse  (mary.kruse1@gmail.com) or  Ms. Maya Gouliard (mayagouliard@gmail.com)
Intermediate and advanced levels 

St Peter's United Church of Christ
905 South Russell Street, Champaign
Contact:  Megan Glaser at (217) 356-3635 or office@stpetersucc.com
http://stpetersucc.com
Call/email in advance for childcare

Wesley Foundation
1203 W Green Street, Urbana
(217) 344-1120
http://wesleyui.org/studentcenter/international

Fee-based, Formally Instructed English Language Classes

Parkland College
2400 West Bradley Avenue, Champaign
(217) 351-2890
https://www.parkland.edu/Main/Academics/Departments/Humanities/Areas-of-Study/English-As-A-Second-Language
Fees vary /  Registration required

ConvoPartners
University of Illinois Intensive English Program
507 East Green Street, Urbana - Suite 401
(217) 333-6598 or convopartners@illinois.edu
http://www.iei.illinois.edu/programs/intensive-englishprograms/fall-spring-program.html
$100 application fee $6681 tuition / Registration required

Special English Class (SEC)
1120 Foreign Languages Building
707 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana
Contact:  SECatUIUC@gmail.com
http://publish.illinois.edu/special-english-class/
$65 fee / Intermediate & Advanced levels / Registration required

English Language Conversation Groups and Tutoring

English Corner (Axiom)
810 West Oregon Street, Urbana
Contact:  garyumphrey@gmail.com
https://www.englishcorneruiuc.us/about-us.html

International Coffee Hour
ETC Coffeehouse - Wesley Foundation
1203 West Green Street, Urbana
(217) 344-1120
http://wesleyui.org/studentcenter/international

Great News Radio
Lincoln Square Mall - Unit 112
201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
Contact:  Mark Burns at staff@greatnewsradio.org

International Hospitality Committee
Friendship Group (U of I)
Community United Church of Christ - Room 6
805 South 6th Street, Champaign
Contact:  Nancy McGlathery at nmcglath@gmail.com
Children welcome

IHC Friendship Group (U of I)
Orchard Downs
2044A South Orchard Street, Urbana
Contact:  Christina Myers at ckmyers2@gmail.com
Email in advance

IHC Friendship Group (U of I)
Krannert Art Museum
500 Peabody Drive, Urbana
Contact:  Vivienne Mackie at vivienne.mackie@gmail.com
Intermediate / Upper Intermediate levels

International Women's Connection
810 West Michigan Street, Urbana
Contact:  Ruth Krehbiel at (217) 344-0641 or rkrehbiel@isiwebnet.net
https://iwc-tcbc.weebly.com
Women only

Mattis Avenue Free Methodist Church
1913 South Mattis Avenue, Champaign
Contact:  Helen Kaufmann at (217) 328-1770 or helen.kaufmann@gmail.com
https://mattisave.org/english-conversation
Childcare on Sundays and Wednesdays

Project READ, Parkland College - Adult Education
Various locations
Contact:  (217) 353-2662 or projectread@parkland.edu
https://www.parkland.edu/Main/Academics/Departments/Adult-Education/Literacy-Services-Project-READ
https://www.facebook.com/ProjectREADatParkland
Learners should be available to attend sites for one year into the future.  Project READ is made possible by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, using State funds designated for literacy.