For residents who struggle with English, there's no shortage of classes and conversation groups waiting to help. The Portland ESL Network maintains a map with a host of English classes, many of them free!
Multnomah County Library
In addition to offering classes on citizenship, and story time in a number of languages, libraries offer many free options to help residents learn English, including:
Talk Time: an unstructured English conversation time at Rockwood, Midland, Central, North Portland, St. johns, Gregory Heights and Capitol Hill branches
- Intercambio: Spanish-English conversation hour
- Trao Đổi: Vietnamese-English conversation hour
- 中英语言交流: Chinese-English conversation hour
- Échange: French-English conversation hour
Multnomah County SUN schools
The school-based programs that offer afterschool activities for kids and social services for families also offer free ESL classes for the public at some of their schools. Here’s a list of those schools.
This private company offers free ESL classes through Multnomah County Libraries and at community nonprofits around the Metro area. The classes focus on real-life needs like gardening, taking public transportation and filing taxes. Here’s a calendar of classes.