Free English Classes

adults in a classroom
Adults work on their English speaking, reading, and writing skills at The New York Public Library

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 20 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. To register for classes, click here. 

  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.

  3. English for Work Classes: for Intermediate and Advanced speakers looking for work or already employed and want a better job.  



Information Sessions

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

Please note:

  • Classes will meet from August 1 - Sunday, August 28.
  • Classes are for adults 18 and above.
  • Classes meet online or in person.
  • 6-month commitment is required to participate.
  • Must live, work, or study in NYC.
  • 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.


As a student in NYPL’s free ESOL classes, Raul Flores is proud to say that he has gone from knowing just a few basic English phrases, to being able to converse comfortably with other English speakers. Watch him tell his story.



Informal English Conversation Classes: We Speak NYC

Discover our full calendar of classes!


Some classes are IN PERSON at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library.

Some classes are ONLINE.  Please read the listings carefully - and sign up.

Sign-up opens 1 week before each class!

You will receive an email confirmation immediately.

Then you will receive a reminder email 2 days before each class.

Intermediate and advanced level English language learners practice English by watching We Speak NYC videos and talking about them. Enjoy fun, interactive activities! Talk about New York City, current events, family life, and holidays — and meet other adult ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) learners from around the world.


IN-PERSON Intermediate-Level Conversation Classes:

Please note: We watch the same film in all classes during one week, but the conversations change. A different film the next week!

Mondays, 2-4 PM IN PERSON at SNFL, 6th Floor

(no class July 4) | July 11 | July 25


IN-PERSON MIXED Intermediate-Advanced Level Conversation Classes:

Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 PM IN PERSON at SNFL, 6th Floor

Please note: We watch the same film in all classes during one week, but the conversations change. A different film the next week!

July 6 | July 13 | (no class July 20) | July 27


ONLINE Intermediate-Level Conversation Class:

You will receive a Zoom link 2 days before the class.

Monday, 2-4 PM  ONLINE

July 18  ONLY - ONLINE


ONLINE Advanced-Level Conversation Classes:

You will receive a Zoom link 2 days before the class.

Mondays, 6 - 8 PM  ONLINE

(no class July 4) | July 11 | July 18 | July 25

Conversation classes continue in August!



Citizenship Preparation and U.S. History

Discover our full calendar of classes!

Sign up for our lively mixed intermediate/advanced level citizenship classes for adults preparing to take the U.S. Citizenship Test in the next 1–2 years, and for adult English language learners who want to improve their English by learning about American history and culture.


IN-PERSON Intermediate/Advanced-Level Citizenship Classes:

Wednesdays, 2-4 PM IN PERSON at SNFL, 6th Floor

July 6 | July 13 | (no class July 20) | July 27 

Fridays, 10 AM-12 PM IN PERSON at SNFL, 6th Floor

July 8 | July 15 | (no class July 22) | July 29 


July 6, 8: The Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

July 13, 15: Freedom: A Closer Look

July 27, 29: The Declaration of Independence and the Colonial Period

Citizenship classes continue in August!


Watch "BECOMING AMERICANS" immigrant New Yorkers from across the globe come to the Library to learn English and prepare for the U.S. Citizenship Test & Interview.

Explore additional citizenship resources and supplemental study groups and programs.




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

Major support for the Library's adult literacy programs is provided by the City of New York; Lynne and Richard Pasculano; Arthur W. Koenig; The JPB Foundation; the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title II funding administered through the New York State Education Department; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; and Lisa and Jeff Blau. Additional support provided by the New York State Coordinated Outreach Services Program; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Baker Family Foundation; The Earl Bailey Trust; New York State Library’s Adult Literacy Library Services grant program; and an anonymous donor.