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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 limited morning classes in partnership with El Centro Hispano, Durham Children’s Initiative, and the Durham Public Library


Click here to learn more about registration for

Spring 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. 

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