Community ESL at Cornell

Community ESL at Cornell is a program organized by local community volunteers and sponsored by the Residential and New Students Program (RNSP).

English conversation classes are offered for spouses and partners of international students and for visiting scholars.

These adult classes are taught by dedicated local community members who help newcomers gain confidence in English, introduce them to local customs and provide opportunities to make new friends.

On-line registration for Fall 2020 classes is now available at the link below.

This fall classes will meet for 1-2 hours per week (teacher’s discretion) virtually via video-conferencing. Anyone with questions should contact: or 

Register for FALL 2020 ESL classes using the following link – classes will run from late September through early December 2020:

Community ESL Fall 2020 Online Registration Form

We are looking for local community volunteers to teach, co-teach or assist with ESL classes. ESL teaching background is not required; if you are good at organizing communication activities and leading small groups in conversation, you could lead an ESL conversation class. Please tell your friends about this opportunity, and contact us at the email above if you would like more information.

Other ESL Opportunities in Ithaca:

  • English for International Students and Scholars (EISS) Academic year: English classes once a week for visiting scholars and/or spouses. There is a fee and it’s a non-credit class:
    Summer session: Full-time English Instruction for 6 weeks (must have high school diploma and be over 18 years of age):
  • Free Tompkins County Library-sponsored “Talk Time” classes The Talk Time program took place every Wednesday at 3:45pm in the Tompkins County Library’s Tompkins Trust Study Room during the spring. ESL Talk Time is more focused on socializing and giving participants a chance to practice speaking English with each other in a casual environment. To see if Talk Time will take place Fall 2020, see the library events calendar here.
  • Open Doors English: The Julie Rudd Coulombe Language Program – Starts Sept 14th. Anyone is eligible. There is a “sliding scale” fee. Beginner to Advanced English classes taught by experienced teachers, including all skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, pronunciation, and grammar), and providing a strong sense of school community. Classes are daily on the 3rd floor of the First Presbyterian Church, downtown Ithaca but virtual during the pandemic. For more information, see: Open Doors English website, or call 607-319-5051 or email hboyer.ode at to set up an appointment or register.
  • TST BOCES ESL – Free English classes offered to individuals living in the Ithaca area and who want to learn English for work, training and higher education. Classes meet all year Monday-Friday and are located on the 3rd Floor of Tioga Place, 118 N. Tioga Street in downtown Ithaca but will be virtual during the pandemic. Please email adulted at for more information.
  • Free Advanced ESL classes at Lifelong Community Center:
    • ADVANCED English as a Second Language (ESL) – conversation, idioms, pronunciation, American history and culture. Small classes, no texts to buy but will be a structured class. For more information and to see if classes will take place this fall, please visit the Lifelong website.

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