ESL and Citizenship classes in New Orleans area

Presione aquí para leer en español. 

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Education for Immigrants and Refugees in the Greater New Orleans area

Catholic Charities English as a Second Language (ESL), Citizenship, and Family Literacy classes serve hundreds of learners from over forty countries each year at sites in Orleans and Jefferson Parish. Both morning and evening classes are available. Our ESL and Citizenship classes are a valuable resource for immigrants and refugees who have recently arrived and those who have been in this country for years.

All of our instructors and tutors are volunteers! We are always looking for new volunteers to help our adult learners. Learn more about volunteering with our program below.

Due to high levels of COVID infection in Louisiana, all Fall classes will be held virtually.


English as A Second Language (ESL)

English as a Second Language (ESL) is an English language study program for nonnative speakers. Our mission is to help improve the students’ level of English so they can become confident and successful in their life goals and as members of the community. We work closely with local refugee resettlement agencies as well as domestic violence and human trafficking survivors to ensure that English language learners find a place of support and culturally sensitive education.

Our ESL program consists of group classes based on proficiency level as well as one-on-one tutoring. Topics covered include: conversational English, grammar, reading, listening comprehension, writing, and vocabulary. All levels focus on practical language and everyday communication styles that enable adult immigrants to integrate more successfully into the greater New Orleans community, including success not only in the workplace, but also interacting with public officials, police officers, doctors, and teachers for those who have children in local schools.


Classes will be available online and in person in New Orleans and Metairie

To register, please fill out this online form and a representative from the program will call you to schedule a test once we have received your application:

ESL Registration Form. 

If you have any questions about registration or difficulty filling out the online intake, you can call or email Sarah Ball at and 504-858-7754. Classes are available in the morning and evening.

Family Literacy

The Family Literacy program is free of cost and open to children, adolescents and adults of all ages and all language backgrounds.  This community-centered program encourages family members to work together when possible to create opportunities for intergenerational and family learning.

The Family Literacy program, currently online via Zoom, offers small group tutoring sessions with volunteer instructors, during which students can work towards learning goals of their choosing, including to but not limited to: improving English language proficiency through online reading, grammar, speaking and listening exercises, tutoring and practice for a Citizenship interview and job reediness support, such as practicing interview questions and formatting resumes in English.

Classes are available on different days in the morning, afternoon, and early evening. Please call for a more detailed schedule.

To register, please fill out this online form and select “Family Literacy” and a representative from the program will call you once we have received your application:

Family Literacy Application

For other questions regarding the Family Literacy program, please contact the Family Literacy coordinator, Julie Gamze at

Citizenship Classes and Pathway to Citizenship Project

Provides full naturalization application preparation services for those seeking U.S. citizenship. Eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can complete their application for naturalization with our Department of Justice accredited legal representatives for a one-time consultation fee of $50. After completing the naturalization application, Catholic Charities representatives will follow up with LPRs on their cases as they receive updates.

In addition, Catholic Charities offers a 10-week citizenship course for those studying for the U.S. citizenship/naturalization test. Two course levels are offered based on English language proficiency, and students receive 5 hours of instruction per week. Students must register and take an English pre-test to participate in the course. Additionally, students must provide a copy of their residency card (green card) to enroll. A fee of $35 covers the cost of the textbook.

Contact us at 504-310-6922 or for more information about citizenship.




Please contact Kelly Johnson at 504-310-6922 to register and for more information.


View flyers in English, Spanish Portuguese and Arabic.


Important Citizenship Civics Test Update

Due to recent changes at USCIS, those who apply for citizenship between December 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021 and have an interview scheduled before April 19, 2021, can choose to take the 2020 version or the 2008 version of the civics test.

All other applicants will take the 2008 version of the civics test with 100 questions.

More information about these changes can be found here


View flyers in English and Spanish.

Volunteer to Help Adults Learn English!

Dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers are needed now! Gain teaching experience and have fun helping adult learners practice their English.

  • Volunteer 3-6 hours each week
  • One semester commitment
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • A high level of English proficiency is required

Materials and training provided. Volunteers should be able to commit one to three days per week.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact Sami Barefield at or call 504-310-6893.



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