ESL & Literacy

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Let us help you learn English or improve your literacy skills with a variety of learning tools in our ESL & Literacy Services Office located on the first floor of the library.

ESL staff are in the office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The ESL & Literacy office is closed on Sundays.

If you would like help finding resources, learning how to use digital resources from home, or information about virtual or in-person tutoring, please email We can set up an appointment to meet in person or via Zoom, schedule a phone call, or provide a written explanation. We would love to hear from you!

Please note that one-on-one tutoring sessions are limited to Arlington Heights cardholders. Additionally, we are experiencing a very high demand for tutoring services, and there is currently a waitlist to be paired with a tutor. If you have any questions, please contact us. 

Upcoming ESL Programs

- /Cardinal Room
- /ESL/Literacy Office
- /ESL/Literacy Office
- /Zoom Event
- /Zoom Event
- /Zoom Event
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Computer Learning

We offer computers and software to help you improve and practice English on your own, at your own speed. Topics include:

  • Pronunciation
  • Business English
  • Reading, grammar and writing
  • TOEFL preparation
  • American culture
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ESL & Literacy Services Offerings

  • Learn in our Computer Lab – Practice your English at your own pace for 1-2 hours per visit.


  • One-on-One Tutoring – Meet with a tutor for one hour per week, during office hours.


Call 847-870-4309 or email to enroll.

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The library offers many programs for ESL students. It also works with other community groups to present programs for ESL learners. Learn more about these programs:

AHML Programs

The next book discussion:

Book Cover ESL Book Discussion - A Midwestern Guide to Conversation
by Taylor Kay Phillips
, , /ESL/Literacy Office


Improve your conversation skills at this monthly conversation group for adult English language learners. Everyone is welcome, including children (please note: no babysitters are available; parents must supervise their children). No registration necessary.


Please register via the Program Calendar for the next session. Tea & Talk meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 1:30-3:00 p.m. We will meet in the 2nd floor Hendrickson Room. 

Next Tea and Talk:

New Friends' Network
, /Cardinal Room

Co-sponsored Programs

This free class is co-sponsored by District 214 and the Village of Arlington Heights.

Thursdays, 12:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. / Cardinal Room

Classes will resume in person, at the library, on Thursday, September 7, 2023. Students must register and take a placement test. Please see their website to register, here

For more information, call the District 214 Community Education Office: 847-718-7700.

One-on-one reading classes for English-speaking adults who are learning to read. Participants must pass a proficiency exam. Course requirements:

  • Students will be tested at Arlington Heights Memorial Library or Forest View Educational Center and will be notified if they are accepted for the class.
  • Placement tests will be conducted Tuesday, August 22 from 9:30-12:00 pm and Wednesday, August 23 from 6:30-9:00 pm. Students should plan to attend the entire session. Children are not allowed. 
  • To register for a placement test, please visit their website, here (it will be updated late July/early August 2023). 
  • Enrollment decisions are based on skill level and available openings.
  • Returning students may be given priority.

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library sponsors classes directed by District 214’s Read to Learn Literacy/Volunteer program.

Classes will resume in person at Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. or Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. 

See Schedule of Read to Learn classes for a list of locations.

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World Languages

The library has thousands of books, magazines, movies, music and more available in many different languages. We have more than 3,000 books, eBooks and eAudiobooks in Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

Our collection also has newspapers and magazines in eight languages, more than 1,000 movies in nearly 50 different languages and hundreds of albums to choose from. We also have a large collection of Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Spanish and Ukrainian books for children. Our World Languages page can help you find just the right thing.

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Citizenship Services

The library offers helpful programs and resources for people interested in becoming U.S. Citizens.  Learn more:

The library offers various programs to help you with your citizenship questions. 

Coming up: 

Citizenship Interview - Practice session: Need help preparing for the speaking portion of the U.S. Citizenship test? Join us for one-on-one practice interviews conducted by HIAS Immigration and Citizenship volunteers. Meeting will be held on Zoom the every third Wednesday of the month. Please register online.

The following resources are helpful for people interested in becoming U.S. citizens:

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Tools for Learning English

  • USA Learns: A free website for adults to learn English.
  • Vocabulary University: English learning activities on three different levels, test preparation (SAT, ACT, TOEFL), vocabulary lesson plans and more.
  • English Daily: Learn American idioms, English, conversational skills, business English, TOEFL and slang.
  • Interesting Things for ESL Students: A fun study site for ESL: word games, puzzles, quizzes, proverbs and much more.
  • Activities for ESL/EFL Students: Online bilingual quizzes and puzzles to help you study English.
  • Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab: Excellent listening exercises from easy to very difficult levels.
  • A great ESL site for students and teachers with ESL Reference links.
  • A large collection of ESL tools and resources for students, teachers, learners and academics.
  • Voice of America News: This special English website is an excellent tool to practice and improve your American English. Listen to news and read along.
  • Road to IELTS is a program geared toward academic English practice that includes speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities.
  • Clear Pronunciation: create an account to improve your American English pronunciation! Clear Pronunciation uses video, audio, and interactive exercises to help you learn how to speak English comfortably and confidently. 
  • Tense Buster: helps learners with 33 key grammar areas at five levels. Ideal for independent learning, classwork and homework.
  • Active Reading: helps learners develop the whole range of reading skills: prediction, vocab strategies, inference, skimming, topic sentences and more.