top of page

The ESOL Program serves 200 to 300 adult newcomers (ages 18 years old and older) each year. Our students are non-native English speakers who come from more than 20 countries around the world. In addition to the classes we offer at our main location, we also offer a range of group classes at El Centro Hispano and the East Durham Children's Initiative. All of our classes offer functional English language instruction.

ESOL Program


The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program provides free English classes for adult learners. We offer seven levels of English classes. Classes range from basic literacy for those who have never been to school to our highest level which has a special emphasis on those who are preparing for GED, college or career. Trained tutors teach all four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Students are pre-tested and assigned to classes appropriate to their level and schedule (as available). We offer a mix of in-person and online classes, depending on a student's level.  Learners are encouraged to attend classes four days a week. Those classes include a structured conversation class and a reading and writing class.   A post-test is given at the end of the semester if a student has enough instructional hours.


Most classes take place in the evening at our main building on Chapel Hill Road.  We also offer limited morning classes in partnership with the Durham Public Library.


Click here to learn more about registration for

Fall 2024 ESOL classes

ESOL Program Staff

Joan Zec Nelson (Coordinator)

   (919) 489-8383, ext. 25

Chris Hall (Program Associate)

   (919) 489-8383, ext. 33


Join us and teach 2 hrs/week for at least one 13-week semester!

  • Learn about opportunities 

  • Online Resources

Note: It is NOT necessary to be multi-lingual to tutor with us. 

bottom of page