We would love to help you learn to speak, read, and write English. If you have trouble completing the application, please feel free to email us.


Estaremos encantados de ayudarte a hablar, leer y escribir en inglés. Si tienes problemas completando la aplicación, por favor escríbenos.

Adult Learner Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can be in the program?

Adults 18 years of age and older can enroll. You do not need to be a U.S. Citizen to be in the program. Once enrolled, you must commit to meeting regularly with the services that you have been given (tutoring or classes). If you frequently miss sessions, you may be subject to dismissal from the program. 

How much does it cost to be in the program?

All of our services are free for eligible learners.  You may be expected to pay for your books (approximately $12-$30 per book) if they are needed and you are working with a tutor.  Scholarships may be available for qualifying students. 

How long will it take to get a tutor?

It may take a few months to be placed with a one on one tutor. In the meantime, we encourage you to join one of our online conversation classes. These are available 5 days a week and you can attend one or all the conversation classes. You may also be eligible to attend some of our other programs, like a book club, citizenship preparation, digital or financial literacy classes and more.

Do I have to take a written test to be in the program?
You are required to have an assessment of your current literacy skills, including an evaluation of your reading, writing, and speaking of English. This evaluation helps us match you with an appropriate tutor and determine your course of study. You can often take this test with us on Zoom or Google Meet for your convenience but you may also take it here in person.  The evaluation can take from 15 minutes to an hour depending on your individual needs.

How long does the program take?

It depends on many factors: your incoming skill level, your personal goals, how frequently you meet with your tutor, and the work you put into practicing English outside of class. You can continue sessions for months or years.

Will I be expected to do work on my own time?
It depends on you and your tutor. Since you only have a few hours a week with your tutor (on average), the more time you put into your studies, the faster you will learn. We will encourage you to find ways to integrate learning into your everyday activities, for example, speaking English whenever possible or watching T.V. in English.  We may also provide you with apps that you can use on your phone or computer to support your learning. 

Where are lessons held and are sessions always one-on-one?
You and your tutor can decide on the best location. Most tutor/learner pairs meet at local libraries or other public locations.  Some people find it easier to meet virtually (online).  Sessions are generally one-on-one. If two or three learners are open to having lessons together, and their skill levels are similar, the tutor may agree to a joint session. Any more than three learners, though, and it can become difficult for the tutor to provide an individualized approach.  We also offer other services, including in-person classes in local libraries.  Not all learners are eligible for all services.  We will be able to match you with the best services for your needs after your initial evaluation.

Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen?
Manatee Literacy Council maintains a non-discriminatory policy. Services are provided confidentially and free of charge to Manatee County adults regardless of race, creed, sex, color, national origin, or socio-economic status.  Manatee Literacy Council does offer instruction for learners preparing to take the U.S. Naturalization examination.

Manatee Literacy Council does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or any other status protected by law. Individuals will be accommodated to the fullest extent as outlined in the ADA guidelines. Due to limitations of the volunteer-based program, Manatee Literacy Council is unable to serve some individuals who are cognitively disabled or developmentally disabled. Recognizing this policy, there may be individuals who, however willing, are not able to benefit from Manatee Literacy Council tutoring. If in the opinion of the tutor or a staff person and with the concurrence of the Executive Director, such a situation exists, the student will be advised that tutoring or continuing in tutoring is not recommended. If possible, the individual will be referred to another appropriate agency better able to meet his or her needs.