English for beginners: Definition

English for beginners is a program where people who are just starting to learn English can learn the basics of the language. In this course, you’ll learn simple words, sentences, and how to have basic conversations in English to help you communicate with others.

English lessons for beginners at ILI Massachusetts

You can start speaking English now! We’ll help you feel comfortable using English every day in our English lessons for beginners. You can learn useful English to live in the USA, get a job, or further your education in Massachusetts. Our friendly English instructors will teach you the basic English you need for daily life today and your life in the future.

What will I study in my English beginner lessons?

When learning English for beginners, you can talk about your home, write about your family, and read about US culture. By studying English conversation for beginners, you can make friends, do every day tasks, and become comfortable living in the USA.

What if I know some words in English. Am I still a beginner?

If you know some words in English but it is difficult to have basic conversations, you may still be considered a beginner in English. Beginners normally have very little vocabulary and sometimes struggle with basic grammar and pronunciation. As you continue to learn and improve your English skills, you’ll progress beyond the beginner stage into more advanced levels. It’s a slow process, and everyone starts somewhere, so knowing some words is great!

Why is it important to be with other English beginners when you start learning? 

Being with other people who are also learning English is a great idea. It helps you feel more comfortable. When you speak a new language, like English, being confident is very important. We all have days when we feel good and days when we don’t. When you learn a language, it’s nice to be in the same situation as others and explore the language together.

We understand what it’s like to learn lots of new things and start using a new language. It’s really special and different, and we want you to have fun while you’re doing it.

Can I take any format of English course at ILI Northampton at beginner level?

Whether you prefer private English lessons or face-to-face classes in our school in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, we have options for you! We can even visit you in your workplace (online or in real life) to delivery custom general English or business English classes for beginners to support your company or association.

English Course Options

All of the following English course formats are available at beginner level.

The Intensive English Program

IEP students standing in the courtyard in front of ILI.

Our intensive English program delivers 21 hours of class time per week with intakes every four weeks. It’s friendly and fun and you’re welcome.

Private English Lessons

Male student writing about first US experience.

Choose Private English Classes for exclusive one-on-one time with your teacher, or add them to your Intensive English Program for an extra boost.

English for the Workplace

A large group of ESOL students who work in a hospital.

Workplace English boosts English language communication skills in your place of work. Individual or group, online or face-to-face, it’s all possible.

Our English Teachers

Four ILI English teachers in front of the school on a sunny day.
Four ILI English teachers in front of the school on a sunny day.

Our English teachers are professionals with Master’s Degrees or TESOL certificates and a minimum of one year teaching experience in creative and student-centered teaching.

ILI has been teaching languages and training teachers since 1984, bringing students the best learning experiences.

“When I started the lesson, I didn’t believe in myself, and I was embarrassed when I was speaking. But the teacher showed us that he trusts us and now I speak better.”

Fatma Demirhan

Or if you are unsure about anything…

Got a Question?

See if our frequently asked questions answer what’s on your mind…

Selected FAQs

That’s a big question with no easy answers. It depends on your goals, your native language, your mindset and other factors that can affect your progress. The whole topic of how long it takes to learn a language includes both guesswork and scientific research. With one-on-one academic counseling, our team can help you set a realistic time frame that fits you. To begin the conversation, the chart below gives a general idea of how long it usually takes for English learners to advance levels in our Intensive English Program.



One month or four weeks.

The Free English Program is for immigrant and refugee adults who live in western Massachusetts. Students ages 17 and up are eligible for the program. The program is for people living permanently in the US.

Fill out the online Free English Program inquiry form and someone will contact you by email, text or phone call.

Don’t see the answer you are looking for?
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What to do next

  1. Explore our English program options and choose the one that suits you best
  2. Register for your chosen course!

Advice on Learning English From our Blog

The ILI Promise

At ILI, we believe that all our actions should stem from grace and loving kindness.

Portrait of Caroline Gear - Executive Director
  • We operate as an equal opportunity organization.
  • We nurture relationships beyond the classroom.
  • We are committed to providing the highest quality language instruction and teacher training.
  • We promote intercultural understanding and celebrate the diversity in our local communities.
  • We work collaboratively to build and sustain the communities we serve.
  • We believe in life-changing teaching and learning.