English as a New Language

Posted on March 29, 2021

by Pam Okosun

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Would it surprise you to learn that 21 percent of adults in the United States (that’s about 43 million) struggle with reading or cannot read1? The ability to read significantly impacts quality of life, particularly as it relates to understanding health information and gaining employment, for example. 

This is especially true for our friends and neighbors who are new immigrants learning English. English as a New Language (ENL) is inextricably tied to making a new life in the United States. Adults who strengthen their English reading skills can also positively impact children’s reading development by reading daily to their children.

Support for English as a New Language Learners

The Library partners with READ La Porte County to support both adults and youth learning English as a new language. READ La Porte County is a local, community-based organization that offers free ENL classes. Learners can join any time and materials are provided at no cost.

  • Level 1 English classes meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00pm – 7:30pm, currently meeting at the St. Peter’s Catholic Church Educational Center on Monroe Street. 
  • Level 2 English classes meet Mondays and Thursdays from 6:00pm- 7:30pm via Zoom. Contact READ at 219-380-0875 for the Zoom join link information.

READ La Porte County also offers free Citizenship Classes for adults learning English. Classes meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00pm – 7:30pm in the Study Cafe at the La Porte County Public Library.

Children and adults who need additional support can also apply for a free tutor through the READ website.

Library Resources for English Language Learners

The Library also has a variety of resources to help with English literacy. Mango Languages is a free database that uses an interactive approach for learning. It’s available through both the web and an app for mobile devices. Here’s a course for English language learners who speak Spanish—https://learn.mangolanguages.com/pathway/from/es-419/to/en-US/792/1/1—it has 10 chapters with 94 lessons!

Another great way to practice and learn English is to choose a title and listen to the audiobook version while reading along with the print or ebook version. For example, check out a print copy of I Am Malala and follow along while listening to the eAudiobook on Libby or Overdrive.

We Are Here to Help

If you need assistance with these resources or want more information, contact the library at 219-263-6156 or send an email to help@laportelibrary.org.

1 According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

Pam Okosun

Pam Okosun

Pam is a Community Engagement Librarian. She teaches library classes, plans programs, helps customers learn new technologies, and loves to discover what people are curious about. Outside the library, you might find her crocheting, playing the piano, or flying with her pilot husband.
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