English as a Second Language Program

Free drop-in ESL Classes

Classes have resumed at the library in the New ESL Classroom located on the lower level.

We now offer Free Drop-in English Classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 7-8 pm at the library. Mondays are for beginners; Tuesdays are conversation nights for all skill levels; Wednesdays are for intermediate/advanced students. No sign-up or registration is necessary to attend. Individuals are encouraged to attend more than one class per week. Please note that space is limited and latecomers may be turned away.

Literacy Program Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide trained volunteers for adult tutoring in English as a Second Language (ESL). If prospective students have educational needs beyond the scope of our program, we will refer them to other resources. We will maintain a comprehensive and diverse collection of literacy materials including audio-visual and printed materials available for circulation. We will train volunteers in tutoring techniques, sensitivity to literacy challenges in day to day life, and in the use of literacy materials for more effective results. We will match students with tutors and monitor progress.

Who Are the Students?

The students in our program come from countries such as Brazil, China, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Japan, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia and Venezuela among others. Most are employed in low wage service positions and proficiency in English is an important step in improving their lives.

Who Are the Volunteers?

Our volunteer tutors give generously of their time and talents to make our program possible. While many have teaching backgrounds or fluency in another language, neither is necessary to be an effective tutor. A desire to help others, patience and flexibility are equally important. Tutor training is free and once completed, tutors are matched with a student(s) for an hour class per week at the library where a private tutoring room is available.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Sue-Ellen Szymanski, at ssyzmans@cwmars.org.

How does the Program Work?

We use a Three Pronged Approach to maximize our resources and results.

        1. One-on-one tutoring & small group instruction
        2. Group Drop-In Classes—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday evenings @ 7pm
        3. Literacy Shelf –books, dictionaries, videotapes, audiocassettes for independent study, lesson planning for tutors.


The ESL program at the Milford Town Library is a proud affiliate of ProLiteracy Worldwide, (formerly Laubach Literacy and Literacy Volunteers of America) and use their training materials in conjunction with other literacy resources.

Literacy Links

For more information about our program, read on and follow links provided below:

  On the Web, Where English is Fun! The Internet’s Top Site for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World. Open 24 hours. www.eslcafe.com
  FreeTranslation.com is an easy-to-use site for rapid translations where you can get the “gist” of foreign language text and web pages. A fast, web-based language translation service.
  The Internet Public Library IPL provides library services to Internet users. Activities include: finding, evaluating, selecting, organizing, describing, and creating information resources; and direct assistance to individuals.
  Thanks to the Internet, writers in about 100 nations are turning to Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab web site for help with English spelling, punctuation and usage.
  ProLiteracy Worldwide is represented in 45 developing countries as well as in the U.S. and serves more than 350,000 adult new learners around the world each year.
  This site has links to more than 800 dictionaries and thesauri in more than 160 languages from Afrikaans to Yiddish. Specialized dictionaries cover topics such as law, medicine, and slang.  www.yourdictionary.com.


The program operates largely on the contributions of time and energy of its terrific volunteers, but also purchases materials and supplies through the library budget and through the generosity of private donors. Substantial past donations have been made by:


Milford National Bank Charitable Foundation

Wal-Mart Foundation

EMC Corporation