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English as a Second Language (ESL)   Tags: efl, english as a foreign language, english as a second language, esl  

Read It, Write It, Speak It
Last Updated: Aug 14, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Subject Guide

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Joyce Wheatley
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607-272-4557 ext. 257
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Subject Guide

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Teresa Vadakin
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607-272-4457 ext. 272
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Are you learning English?  Do you know someone who wants to understand, speak, read and write English better?  The Library can help!

Check out the Adult Literacy/ESL collection of books, audiobooks and  DVDs! Also, explore RosettaStone for English in the Library and MANGO Languages  for learning English from any computer with an Internet connection.

Participate in the Library's ESL Snack and Chat program, a conversational group that meets every Wednesday from 3:15 - 4:45 PM in the BorgWarner Room. The program will resume in October 2014 - check back for the dates! Read more >>.

See a full schedule of the Library's ESL programs and events at

ESL at TCPL is on Facebook! Stay connected at!


  • LearningExpress Library  
    Are you studying for the naturalization test to become a United States citizen? Hoping to earn a Green Card? This Center has the instantly scored practice tests, helpful courses, and eBooks—in both English and Spanish—to help you every step of the way.
  • Mango Languages  
    Mango Languages is an easy to use online language-learning system teaching actual conversation skills for a wide variety of languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Greek, German, and Japanese. It also includes English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for 14 different languages. Mango uses real-life situations and actual conversations to more effectively teach a new language to learn how to communicate.
  • Rosetta Stone - In library use only
    Rosetta Stone is an interactive language learning program, is available for Library use only on designated computers.
    Rosetta Stone Version 1: English (US) Level 1, 2 & 3
    Rosetta Stone Version 3: English (US) Level 1, 2 & 3
    Rosetta Stone Version 3: Spanish (Latin America) Level 1, 2 & 3

Books and Recordings

The TCPL Adult Literacy and ESL collection has English dictionaries, picture dictionaries, books on using the English language, current and classic fiction in simplified form, and other books written for adults. We also have audio book sets that contain CDs and/or cassettes with matching books for English language practice.

Bilingual books allow you to read English and another language side by side in most cases.  Look for the bilingual sticker on the spine of the book!

The online catalog lets you find books, recordings and other materials at the library. When you search by keyword, you can find the newest materials when you use the "Sort by" menu. Click on the arrow and select "Publication date."

If you search by subject, try these headings:

Try these series of books:

The Reference staff can show you how to search the catalog and find materials. Ask us at the Reference Desk or contact us .

Local Organizations and Services

  • 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service
    Phone: 211 or 1-877-211-8667
    Information and Referral (I&R) maintains the a comprehensive listing of services and organizations in Tompkins County.
  • Community ESL at Cornell
    Formerly known as Cornell Campus Club (ESL), this group provides information about classes for the Cornell community, links to their newsletter, ESL practice sites and other local information.

    Community ESL at Cornell welcomes anyone interesting in practicing English. A Cornell affiliation is not necssary.
  • ESL at Northeast Elementary School
    425 Winthrop Dr. ~ Ithaca, NY
    Phone: 607-257–2121
    This elementary school in the Ithaca City School District helps newcomers adjust to life in their new country. Although some of the information is specific to this particular school, most will be useful for anyone in the district.
  • ESL Snack and Chat
    A program at Tompkins County Public Library for learning English in a relaxed, conversational setting.
  • International Students and Scholars Office  
    Opportunities to study English as a Second Language (ESL) at Cornell and in Ithaca, and resources to assist you with written and spoken English.
  • Lifelong English Classes
    Lifelong frequently offers classes in English as a Second Language. They offer Beginner-Intermediate classes and Advanced classes. Click the calendar link on their website for dates, times and descriptions. Classes are usually small, free and there are no age restrictions for adults.
  • Tompkins Learning Partners, Inc.
    124 West Buffalo Street ~ Ithaca, New York
    Phone: 607-277-6442
    TLP provides tutoring services, free of charge, to local residents who need help reading, writing, or speaking English.
  • TST BOCES Adult ESL Classes
    The First Presbyterian Church - 3rd Floor
    315 North Cayuga Street ~ Ithaca, New York
    Phone: 607-273-4095
    These classes will help improve basic literacy skills; prepare for earning a GED diploma; and obtain skills to pass the citizenship test.

Additional Resources

World Languages

Did you know you can still enjoy reading books in your native language while learning English as a Second Language.  The Library has a lively collection of books in translation and original versions.

Adult Literacy - Basic Education

Adult Literacy
by Teresa Vadakin, Joyce Wheatley - Last Updated May 21, 2014
Basic Adult Education (ABE)
385 views this year

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