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- and post-tested and then assigned to classes appropriate to their level and schedule. Learners are encouraged to attend classes four days a week. Those classes include a structured conversation class and a reading and writing class.   


Most classes take place in the evening at our main building on Chapel Hill Road.  We also offer morning classes at two other locations:  El Centro Hispano and East Durham Children’s Initiative.


Spring 2020 Classes

Everyone who wants to register for classes at the Durham Literacy Center Building must register again, even students who have been taking classes in the Fall semester.


Click here for student registration dates! 


Our Spring 2020 classes will take place at multiple sites: 

Durham Literacy Center (1905 Chapel Hill Rd.)

  • Core Classes at all levels (Literacy to College/Career Preparatory)

    • Monday & Wednesday:  6:30-8:30 pm     

    • Tuesday & Thursday:  6:30-8:30 pm

  • Students have the option of attending additional conversation, reading, writing and listening classes.  

El Centro Hispano (2000 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 26A)

  • Low/High Intermediate Class (FYI: No evening classes at this location)

    • Monday & Wednesday: 9:15-11:15 am


East Durham Children's Initiative (EDCI):  

  • Low/High Beginning and Low/High Intermediate. Childcare services provided.

    • Tuesday & Thursday, 10 am-12 pm​

ESOL Program Staff

Joan Zec Nelson (Coordinator)

   919.489.8383, ext. 25

Chris Hall (Program Associate)



Join us and teach 2 hrs/week for at least one 16-week semester!

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

​Contact us:​


Phone: (919) 489-8383  




Location: 1905 Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707


Mailing address:  PO Box 52209, Durham, NC 27717


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The Durham Literacy Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 56-1479534.