7 Great Ways To Improve Your English With the Free Library

By Lindsay S. RSS Wed, September 27, 2023

The Languages and Learning Center offers relevant and engaging programs and resources for English language learners. Here are seven great ways we can help you learn, improve, and speak English!

Group of adults standing in a circle with speech bubbles in the middle

Attend an English Conversation Circle

Join us for weekly conversation groups across the city and build your confidence in speaking English. Practice your speaking skills in a casual, relaxed environment with a friendly and encouraging group. All are welcome at this free program. We currently offer Conversation Circles at Independence, Walnut Street West, Charles Santore, Whitman, Holmesburg, Philadelphia City Institute, Ramonita G. Rodriguez, and Kensington Libraries.



Woman standing at chalkboard with multiple phrases in multiple languages written on it

Sign Up for Mango Languages

Mango Languages is a fantastic online resource for language learning that you can access for free with your library card. You can access this program on a library computer, at home on a personal computer, or download the app for your phone. Mango Languages offers online English language practice with instructions in 21 different languages!


Cartoon stock image of people watching a large movie screen

Watch a Movie (With Subtitles On!)

Your Free Library card gives you access to thousands of DVDs, including language learning programs, documentaries, television shows, and feature films. You can check out up to 10 DVDs at a time to practice your English listening comprehension. You can also access streaming movies online through Kanopy. Try alternating between watching with English subtitles on and then really testing your comprehension with the subtitles off.


stack of books between a pair of headphones

Listen to an Audiobook

Listening to a book read aloud (either on a CD, computer, or smartphone) can help increase English proficiency. You can access audiobooks online with your Free Library card through Overdrive/Libby and RB Digital. Try checking out the same book in audio and print form so you can read along for extra practice!








image of library book shelves

Check Out an English Language Learning Textbook, Dictionary, or Workbook

The Free Library has hundreds of language-learning textbooks, dictionaries, workbooks, CDs, and DVDs. Stop by the Languages and Learning Center or your local neighborhood library to check out our collections.




older man and woman sitting in classroom

Come to an English Class

The Free Library of Philadelphia hosts beginner, intermediate, and advanced English classes across the city, including some through partnerships with community organizations and others run by dedicated volunteers. It’s usually a good idea to call the library to check about the registration process before you attend your first class. No library English classes near you? Call the Adult Education Office of Children and Families to learn about more free English language learning classes across the city at 833-750-5627.


hands cooking in commercial kitchen

Join Edible Alphabet!

Looking for an English class with a twist? Edible Alphabet offers students a chance to improve their English skills while cooking delicious food. The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. Students will learn vocabulary and grammar, as well as practice listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English while cooking a new recipe every week. The program is free and is offered at both the Parkway Central Library and in our neighborhood libraries. We will be starting class at Lillian Marrero Library in North Philadelphia in October. Register to join us for this fun and creative English class!

We hope to see you at the library soon! For more information about adult education and English Language Learning, email adultlearning@freelibrary.org or call the Languages and Learning Center at 215-686-8664.

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Lovely post!!Thank you for posting such an informative blog! In today's date, learning English is must and the points which you have mentioned are great!! I will definitely share it to large number of audience and it will be helpful to all.
Shruti sharma - India
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Hello! Do you have free online classes?
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

We do have free online classes. Check out a list here: https://libwww.freelibrary.org/calendar/?q=&type=&series=&location_code=&age=&terms=english-language-learners&terms=virtual-programs&date_range=
Lindsay - Free Library of Philadelphia
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Nice blog! I love your blog. HeyCleo is an excellent English learning app that offers ample innovative features through which you can enhance your knowledge of this most confounding language. |
HeyCleo App - UAE
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

I need to learn English fast
Jhonbert Rico - Tanke Talisay City Cebu
Friday, February 17, 2023

It's great
Jhonbert Rico - Tanke Talisay City Cebu
Friday, February 17, 2023