ESL Beginning High

Los Angeles’ Top Community Resources for English Learners

For English learners in Los Angeles, there is a rich amount of community resources to go to further their studies in an enjoyable way. Los Angeles is a huge city, and so I am sure I have missed some great places. Over time, this list will be more expansive and cover more needs. The following are my top choices to go to if you want to take your English to the next level:

If you want to find a job…

5. Chrysalis.

For students who are interested in a job, but lack skills or need more training, Chrysalis offers full services that help adults train for, find for and retain a job. This nonprofit organization has helped thousands of students and has multiple locations throughout Los Angeles. For more information, as a SMMUSD student, contact Jonathan Vasquez. Otherwise, you can get in touch with a local center.

If you want tutoring and/or specialized books…

4. Los Angeles Public Library

The Los Angeles Public Library is home to Central Library, the largest completely public library in Los Angeles. Therefore, if you want a book, you’re likely to find it in the Los Angeles Public Library System. The Los Angeles Public Library system also offers a robust adult literacy centers, with book collections made for ESL learners that I haven’t found anywhere else. If you want to challenge yourself, LAPL is also your best bet for finding rare books to keep you interested. Books are currently available through curbside pick up and eBook format. Right now, you can sign up for an ecard to get digital content. And when Central Library opens its computer center again, you know you can let me know if you need help with anything technology related.

If you want to get an education, retraining, or a job…

3. Managed Career Solutions

Managed Career Solutions offers training and public social services to people from all different backgrounds in the Los Angeles area. They work with government agencies to get people who otherwise can’t find employment, a job. Visit any of their affiliate locations or contact Vincent Lin for more information. I’ve worked through MCS in my cybernaut job for two years, and so I can vouch that is an effective and responsive program.

If you want to give reading a second chance…

2. HiDeHo Comics

Often, as adults, it is easy to stop reading books. Giving up completely though, would be a grave mistake! Often, graphic novels and comics are ways to become re-engaged with reading and continue to increase your English skills. HiDeHo has an all ages section with easier books that English Learners can sink their teeth into.. For Adult English learners, that otherwise aren’t comic book nerds, I recommend Isle of Dogs for an age-appropriate but easy read. The owner of the shop, Kristen Parraz, is friendly and ready to help anyone looking for a great comic or book. And if you are in Gardena, check out the sister store, Geoffrey’s comics.

If you want an accessible place to study and learn…

1. Los Angeles County Library

This library system offers dozens of locations and although they are all closed for now, they usually offer high quality free events. The ESL learning books are usually more out-of-date compared to the Los Angeles Public Library, but the branches themselves are usually more quiet and conducive to learning. Compared to the massiveness of Central Library, it is easy to become familiar with your local librarian who can help you find books based on your current level and interests. Out of the other library systems, the Los Angeles County Library system makes it easiest to get a Digital Library Card. Check out the slides prepared by technology/ESL educator, Laura Buhl to get your own.

Honorable Mention: Santa Monica Public Library

For another, local option, with eResources and curbside pickup, check out Santa Monica Public library. Nancy Bender, the Adult Program Librarian and Literacy Program Coordinator, knows about the adult school and is happy to answer any questions. Visit their website or call (310) 458-8922 for more information.

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