English Classes at MAM Wilcrest
(formerly Literacy Advance of Houston)
English Speaking and Listening
For people who want to speak and understand English better.
Each class is 5 - 10 students with one volunteer tutor.
This class is called English as a Second Language, or ESL.
Regular Classes last a full semester and cost $30. If you cannot study for the full semester, you can take many short classes. Short classes are free.
All our classes are for basic learning.
To come to class, you must:
Be 18 or older.
Not be on probation for a violent crime.
Have a Houston address, and not be a visitor or tourist.
You must register before you can start classes. Click here for information about how to register for classes.
At registration, we will talk with you about your schedule. If we have a class for you, we will tell you at registration. If we do not have a class that works with your schedule, you will be on our waiting list.
If you want to take English classes at MAM Wilcrest, please call us at (713) 266-8777
English classes are very popular. Many people want to make an appointment. If you call when the appointments are all full, we will ask you to call again on another day.
After registration, we will work to find you a class schedule.
Many people are waiting. We are sorry that the wait is sometimes long. We will help you when we can!
While you wait for a class:
2424 Wilcrest Drive, Suite 120, Houston, TX 77042 (near Westheimer)
If you are interested in volunteer opportunities at this location, please click here for more information.
We also have Special Classes, to learn about other topics. These classes are shorter. MAM Literacy Advance students can have Special Classes as well as their regular class. Special classes are free.
What Happened to Literacy Advance?
We're still here!
Literacy Advance joined Memorial Assistance Ministries’ network of programs and services in late 2018, expanding geographic reach and enhancing programmatic offerings to adult learners.
Since 1964, Literacy Advance has provided free English and reading classes to adults in Houston. Volunteer tutors make thousands of hours of learning possible every year, an astonishing feat for which we are enduringly grateful!
What do we do?
No one wants to improve their literacy "just because." Every adult who comes to us looking for help has a compelling reason for doing so.
Perhaps they've been passed over for promotion, because their writing skills aren't up to par. Perhaps they've had anxious visits to the doctor, not able to read a prescription or follow the care instructions they were given. Perhaps the child who was a baby when mom and dad first came to the United States is now in the school system, and the parents know that their involvement in their daughter's learning is crucial to her success.
Reasons for wanting literacy classes are varied, but often involve family, or jobs, or both. And whatever the reason, our aim is to find out each student's learning goals and provide them with the personalized and practical assistance to help them reach those goals.
We all know what "literacy" means, right? Well, maybe not. There has been some re-defining of the term in recent times, as the world and society changes and more is expected in the community, in the workplace, and elsewhere.
We define literacy as follows:
Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen, and use numeracy and technology, at a level that enables people to express and understand ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, to achieve their goals, and to participate fully in their community and in wider society. Achieving literacy is a lifelong learning process.
The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development) simplifies this idea well:
Literacy is more than just reading, writing, and numeracy. It's not about being literate or illiterate anymore, but having adequate skills for today's demands.
In coming up with our own definition, we were inspired by definitions of literacy from other places, most notably the following:
UNESCO - Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.
NAAL (National Assessment of Adult Literacy) - Literacy is using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential.
Proliteracy - Literacy is the ability to read, write, compute, and use technology at a level that enables an individual to reach his or her full potential as a parent, employee, and community member.