ESL Month

16libraryOctober is ESL Month @ Somerville Public Libraries

Somerville residents may not be aware that the City of Somerville hosts free (FREE!) English as a Second Language (ESL) classes through all three of its public libraries. (Schedule below.)

Somerville Coordinator Brigid Pigott, says that the age of students being served spans several decades and even more countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, South Korea, and Spain. In addition, many hold down jobs at Somerville businesses like Market Basket and Oliveira’s Steak House to name just two. Meanwhile, Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee Chair, Tom Bent (President of Bent Electric), commented: “Obviously, the employer benefits as well as the student,” adding “but so does the community as a whole.”

A life-long resident and past Board Chair, Mr. Bent considers this effort part of what makes Somerville – and the country – great. “Look, we’re a nation of immigrants,” he adds, “and gateway communities like ours play a vital role.”

While those who volunteer include both a number of certified teachers (retired, semi-retired and still full-time employed) and others working toward this goal, previous classroom experience is not required. Somerville native, Bill Caruso, who volunteers on Monday night at East Branch, notes a range of backgrounds and experience. “There’s at least one retired chef and a former military man turned furniture moving specialist that I know of,” he says. “Additional students are welcome. So are extra volunteers.”

For further information, visit the Somerville Public Library’s Programs & Events page Prospective volunteers should view the library’s ESL holdings, contact the ESOL Coordinator at  or just stop by one of the ongoing sessions.



East Branch

115 Broadway


Central Library

79 Highland Avenue


West Branch

40 College Avenue

6:00 – 8:00 6:00 – 7:30 6:00 – 8:00