Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Free English Classes


English Classes

The New York Public Library helps adult students improve their communication skills in English. We offer two types of English classes, available at more than 40 libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island.

These are series-based classes, held year-round in 10-week cycles. Most classes meet two days each week, for two hours each day. Select classes meet on Saturday mornings for four hours. Classes are for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level students. Students must attend an information session to register for classes, and registration is required in order to attend these classes.

  1. ESOL Classes: for non-native speakers to improve listening, speaking, reading and writing.

  2. Adult Basic Education Classes: for students who already speak English but want to improve their reading and writing.

Information Sessions

At the Information Session, you will make an appointment to register for classes.

Please note:

  • Classes are open to adults.
  • Testing is required for placement.
  • Documentation is not required.
  • Space is limited.
  • Children are not allowed at registration.

View our schedule of upcoming Information Sessions. For the most current information available regarding these classes, please ask at your local branch or email

Academic Calendar

Spring 2018
Information Sessions Begin:  April 7,  2018
Classes Begin:  April 23, 2018
Classes End:  June 30, 2018

Summer 2018
Information Sessions Begin:  July 14,  2018
Classes Begin:  July 30, 2018
Classes End:  August 25, 2018

Drop-in English Conversation Classes

Already know English and want to practice speaking with other people? Come to the library, and meet other people who are practicing English.

In these classes, intermediate-level English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners will have the opportunity to: practice English by watching We Are New York videos and talking about them; talk with library volunteers about current events, New York City, family life, and holidays; or prepare for the United States citizenship exam.

There are also high beginner level conversation classes available for students who have filed a USCIS N400 application, and are preparing to take the United States Citizenship exam in the next six to nine months. View our calendar listing for upcoming classes.



Major support for educational programming is provided by Merryl H. and James S. Tisch.

Major support for the Library's adult literacy, English language programs and technology training is provided by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development; Arthur W. Koenig; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; the NYC Connected Communities, a program of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications; The JPB Foundation; The Pasculano Foundation; Lisa and Jeff Blau; and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title II funding administered through the New York State Education Department.

Additional support provided by the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity; Altman Foundation; Funding from the Mayor’s Young Men's Initiative administered through the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development; New York State Coordinated Outreach Services Program; Bank of America; Wiley;The Earl Bailey Trust; in memory of Susan Goodstein Lerner and her commitment to the ESOL program; New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services grant program; and an anonymous donor.