Local ESOL Resources

The current schedule of language classes and groups at Capital Area District Libraries

CADL offers online language instruction through Pronunciator.  Pronunciator and associated apps are free to CADL library card holders. Learn more about Pronunciator.

Local ESOL Resources

Capital Area District Libraries (CADL)  www.cadl.org

CADL has an online language instruction program  “Pronunciator” for patron’s computers, tablets, and phones.  Patrons need to have a CADL library card and it is recommended they go to a CADL branch for information on how to download “Pronunciator”.    The program has over 80 languages including English.  A library card is free for in-district patrons and it costs $50.00 a year for out-of-district patrons.  Residents of East Lansing are out-of-district.

CADL-Okemos Branch 4321 Okemos Rd., Okemos, MI  48864    (517) 347-2021

They have a Reading Group (not a class) on Wednesdays from 12:00pm – 1:30 pm. While it is for clients who are non-native English speakers they do not teach English.  It is for people who have studied English and have a fairly good grasp of English.  It is a safe place where people can speak English without embarrassment.  They often read several pages from a book in class and then discuss the reading.  They generally read about American culture. They also have a Kids ESOL Discussion Group for children who are around 4th-6th grades. Please call for current schedule.

CADL-South Lansing Branch 3500 S. Cedar St., Lansing MI  48910. (517) 272-9840

They have a Reading and Conversation Group (not a class) on Mondays from 6:00pm – 7:00 pm. While it is for clients who are non-native English speakers they do not teach English.  All skill levels are welcome. 

Capital Area Literacy Coalition 1028 E. Saginaw, Lansing, MI  48906. (517) 485-4949. www.thereadingpeople.org   Email:  mail@thereadingpeople.org

They are a private non-profit organization that provides free ESL services for all levels. They have an ESL class that meets at the Capital Area District Libraries Downtown Lansing branch on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, from 9:30am to 11:30am. Classes begin Sept. 27, 2016. Students must have an English level evaluation at their office before attending class. They also offer individual tutors, but they don’t always have enough individual tutors.  They will provide services to all.

Cristo Rey Community Center (affiliated with Cristo Rey Parish)  1717 N. High St., Lansing, MI 48906.  (517) 372-4700 www.cristoreycommunity.org Contact: Andrea Rodriguez

Cristo Rey provides many services, including ESL, especially to Spanish speaking clients.

East Lansing Public Library (ELPL)   950 Abbott Rd., East Lansing, MI  48823. (517) 351-2420 www.elpl.org

The library has a free English conversation group, “Practice Your English”, that meets at the library Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm-8:00pm.  They also have an on-line language instruction computer program (“Mango”) that can be downloaded to internet accessible devices such as computers, tablets, and phones.  Patrons must have an ELPL card (free to East Lansing residents and those who attend school in East Lansing, which includes MSU students) to use “Mango”.  All others pay $30.00 annually for a card.  

English Language Center (ELC) MSU  Wells Hall, MSU campus, 619 Red Cedar Rd., Room B-230, East Lansing, MI  48824.   (517) 353-0800. www.elc.msu.edu Email:elc@msu.edu   

This is an English program for international students who need to improve their English language skills before beginning academic coursework or for individuals who are not seeking a degree from MSU, but who want to improve their English skills.  They have 18-20 hrs. of instruction a week and cultural enrichment activities and field trips. ELC students are part of the University Community and all MSU facilities are open to them. 

The ELC also runs the English Language Center ESL Lab.  This is housed at B230 Wells Hall (517-353-0800 for appointments) and it is where international students enrolled in academic classes at MSU can receive free writing tutoring from trained ESL writing consultants. First priority for the ESL Lab goes to WRAC and IAH students. However, undergraduate and graduate international students are welcome to make appointments with the understanding that they could be bumped by the WRAC and IAH students and would have to reschedule.

ESL and Friends  (517) 281-8126 Contact: Bonnie Bankson,  Email: bjbankson@gmail.com  Classes are currently held at Liberty Christian Church, 2215 E. Michigan Ave. Lansing, MI  48912

This program is a community effort run by trained and experienced Christian tutors.  Their free classes cover pre-literature, beginning, and conversational English for adults and teenagers.  They use passages from the Bible for pronunciation, word definition and reading comprehension. They have an elementary children's class and free child care for younger children.  Please ask them about help with transportation.  Classes meet Mondays 7-9 pm. New students should arrive by 6:45 pm.  

International Friendship House  929 Sever Dr., East Lansing, MI  48823. Email:  friendshiphousemsu@gmail.com  

They have free English classes including Bible studies. There is a $10 registration fee.  They are located on the west edge of MSU just off Harrison Rd.  They are a Lutheran ministry, not officially affiliated with MSU.

Lansing Community College (LCC) Contact person:  Denise Warner, English for Speakers of Other Languages Program Faculty Chair, Center for Transitional Learning, Arts & Sciences Bldg, Room 107.  www.lcc.edu/ctl  The English Language Studies Program can be reached at (517) 483-1061.   International advisors can be reached at (517) 483-1929.

LCC has three different kinds of non-native speakers of English: International students who have F-1 status and must take the TOEFL in their home country and then take LCC’s placement test when they arrive; International guest students (F-1 spouses); and immigrant/refugee students. Family members of international students may take classes for credit or no credit. The international students need to pay their own tuition.  Refugee students do not take the TOEFL; they take the LCC placement test; they may also apply for federal financial aid to pay for their courses.  LCC has courses from high-beginning to academic readiness.  They do not have English classes for non-English speaking students. A course of interest is their “Focus on Pronunciation” which is an accent reduction course. The have non-credit ESOL classes at reduced rates. They also have a program for those age 14 and older. For that program information, call Carolyn Dembowski, (517) 483-1414.

Lansing School District Adult Education   Classes are held at Elmhurst Elementary, 2400 Pattengill Rd., Lansing, MI.    (517) 755-4063 or (517) 755-4040.

They offer free classes from Pre-Literacy (non-English Speakers) to a 9th grade reading level.  After that level students go to “Adult Basic Education” (ABE) for their Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation.

Classes are free and open to those who are least 20 years old and international students who need a high school diploma from their home country or they need to take the Lansing School District placement test.  Classes are Monday-Friday and students may attend either 8:00am-11:00am or 12:00pm-3:00pm.  Classes do not run in the summer. Enrollment begins September 8, 2016.

Michigan State University Volunteer English Tutoring Program (VETP)  MSU International Center, 427 N. Shaw Lane, Room 310A, East Lansing, MI 48823. http://vetp.isp.msu.edu/   Email:  vetp@msu.edu  Facebook:  www.facebook.com/vetpmsu  Contact person:  Mary Hennessey. 

They offer free English conversation practice through conversation classes and conversation partners for MSU international students, scholars and their adult family members.  

Peckham Incorporated   3510 Capital City Blvd., Lansing, MI 48906.   (517) 316-4016 Contact person: Onetress Robinson III, Core Learning Specialist.   Email:  orobinson@peckham.org

These learning programs are only offered to Peckham employees.

The ESOL classes held at Peckham include Beginner (level 1), Intermediate (level 2), and Advanced   (level 3).  In addition to those classes, they hold conversation groups, reading groups, and 1:1 ESL tutoring.  

Refugee Development Center  600 W. Maple St. Suite A, Lansing, MI 48906 (517) 999-5090 www.refugeedevelopmentcenter.org

They offer free ESL classes. During the school year classes are held at the downtown Lansing Capitol Area District Library and also at Summerplace Townhomes located at the corner of Waverly and Jolly Roads. They have entry-level to intermediate level ESL classes.  Any person in need of these levels may attend their classes, but their students are mainly refugee and immigrant clients. Please call for details.

St. Vincent Catholic Charities  2800 W. Willow, Lansing, MI  48917.   (517) 323-4734   Email: yut@stvcc.org

They have ESL classes for clients who are refugees in their employment programs.

Samaritas  (formerly known as Lutheran Social Services)  517-321-7663 www.samaritas.org

They offer some ESL services. Please contact them directly for more details.

University Reformed Church  841 Timberlane St., East Lansing, MI 48823. Contact: Nick Setterington (nick@urcstaff.org) (517)351-6810.

They have an informal English conversation class and options for Bible studies. The class is centered around English discussion and friendship building rather than formally teaching ESL. It is held on Thursdays from 7-8:30 pm during the Fall and Spring semesters, and does not meet in the summer.  Van rides from MSU are provided.  Childcare is also provided.  They are a Christian ministry not officially affiliated with MSU.


Related Resources

Immigrant & Refugee Resource Collaborative's (IRRC) Toolbox of Electronic Resources

The "Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test" booklet

For further assistance please contact Jill Abood, Community Engagement Specialist, aboodj@cadl.org