Our volunteers teach basic—but life-changing—communication skills to DuPage County adults who want to learn English.
Since 1972, we have been equipping a big-hearted army of tutors to work side-by-side with adults who cannot comprehend, speak, read, or write English. We provide these volunteers the materials, techniques, and confidence they need to help adults break through language barriers and experience a whole new world of communication and connection, right here in DuPage County.
After training, each tutor is matched with an adult learner. The pair decides on a regular convenient meeting time and place, often at the local library.
From there, the instruction is entirely customized. The learner chooses specific life skill goals, e.g. understand street signs, decipher prescription labels, read mail, tell bedtime stories, or apply for a job, and the tutor offers practical instruction to meet those practical needs. This highly-personalized approach gets results, builds relationships, and strengthens communities.
DuPage County’s language gap may surprise you.
More than 128,000 DuPage County residents possess sub-par English skills.
Every year, Literacy DuPage serves more than 350 adult learners throughout DuPage County. But right now, our waiting list includes 72 more people who hope to be matched with a tutor soon.
We are proud of the difference that we’re making in so many lives, yet we have far to go in achieving full literacy throughout the county.
These are your neighbors in need.
Literacy DuPage learners are adult men and women of all ages, nationalities, and social backgrounds. They all live in DuPage County. And they all have hopes and dreams—to be self-sufficient individuals, productive employees, involved parents, connected neighbors, and informed citizens.
And they all struggle, due to language barriers.
Learners come to us with English language skills below ninth-grade level. Some are native English speakers, yet most are immigrants. Our learner base represents 39 first languages and 50 countries.
- Our English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners have limited skills to read, write, speak, and understand English. Tutors help ESL learners understand and use English, so that they can be independent and successful at home, at work, and in the community.
- Our Adult Basic Education Learners (ABE) are somewhat proficient in English, yet still need work. Tutors assist these adults to master English language skills, in order to become more productive in society.
Literacy DuPage is an alternative to classroom instruction.
Literacy DuPage offers free, customized, one-to-one tutoring for adult learners.
For two hours each week, tutor and learner meet for instruction.
This flexible, accessible approach accommodates learners who cannot participate in classroom-based programs. They may not have access to transportation or can’t afford childcare. Perhaps they’re juggling multiple jobs and work schedules to make ends meet.
With Literacy DuPage, learner and tutor work together to overcome these challenges.
For groups of learners, we offer conversation practice.
In addition to our core program of one-to-one tutoring, Literacy DuPage offers 1 Conversation Groups:
- Conversation Groups allow adult ESL learners with intermediate and above language skills to practice listening and speaking English in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. with peers. There is no fee to attend. Meetings take place often and are held on Zoom or at a few libraries in the county. See the Conversation Group schedule.
Literacy is a connected cause—globally and locally.
Literacy DuPage collaborates with other organizations that share our passion for literacy.
Literacy DuPage is an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy Worldwide, based in Syracuse, New York. ProLiteracy Worldwide was formed in 2002, a merger of Literacy Volunteers of America and Laubach Literacy International.
Literacy DuPage collaborates with many social agencies and government offices in DuPage County for support and to raise greater awareness of the growing need for literacy instruction, engaging more people to serve an increasing population of learners.