Learn English in Des Moines

Overview of English Learning Opportunities in Des Moines

Des Moines, the capital city of Iowa, offers a plethora of opportunities for non-native speakers to learn and enhance their English language skills. The city’s diverse population and its status as an economic hub attract individuals from various backgrounds, making it an ideal location for engaging in English language learning. Des Moines provides a range of options from formal education in schools and colleges to informal learning through social interactions and community involvement.

English Learning Programs in Educational Institutions

Des Moines Public Schools
Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) offer English as a Second Language (ESL) programs aimed at helping students from non-English speaking backgrounds achieve academic success. These programs are tailored to meet the needs of students at various proficiency levels.

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)
DMACC offers comprehensive ESL courses designed for adult learners. These courses cover basic to advanced English skills, focusing on reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Moreover, DMACC provides a supportive environment with access to additional resources such as tutoring and language labs.

Drake University
At Drake University, non-native speakers can enroll in the Intensive English Program (IEP). This program offers multiple levels of English instruction and prepares students for university-level education or professional careers in an English-speaking environment.

Private Language Schools and Tutors

Language Trainers
Language Trainers offers personalized English courses in Des Moines, which are tailored to the student’s goals and schedules. These one-on-one or small group sessions can take place at a location of the student’s choice, including at home or in the workplace.

Through platforms like Wyzant, learners can find local English tutors in Des Moines. This allows for customized learning experiences, where the curriculum is adapted to the individual’s learning pace and specific areas of interest.

Community and Cultural Engagement as Learning Platforms

The Des Moines Public Library
The Des Moines Public Library hosts regular English conversation classes which are free to attend. These classes provide a relaxed environment where learners can practice speaking English and improve their fluency.

Cultural Events
Participating in local cultural events and festivals not only immerses learners in the English language but also helps them understand cultural nuances. Events such as the Des Moines Arts Festival and the World Food & Music Festival are great places to practice English while experiencing the local culture.

Online Learning Resources

Duolingo offers a user-friendly platform for learning English and is a great tool for beginners to gain confidence in their language skills. The app provides lessons in a game-like format, making learning both fun and educational.

ESL Podcasts and YouTube Channels
Listening to ESL podcasts such as “The English We Speak” from the BBC or watching educational YouTube channels like “EnglishAddict with Mr. Duncan” are excellent ways for learners to improve their listening skills and vocabulary in a flexible manner.

Workplace English Learning Programs

Corporate Training Programs
Many businesses in Des Moines recognize the importance of effective communication and offer English training programs for their employees. These programs not only improve productivity but also enhance team dynamics.

Professional Networking Groups
Joining professional networking groups can be beneficial for practicing business English. Groups like the Greater Des Moines Partnership provide networking opportunities that often involve engaging in English conversations with peers.

Government and Non-Profit Initiatives

Refugee and Immigrant Services
Organizations such as the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) Des Moines provide English language classes specifically designed for refugees and immigrants to help them integrate into the community.

Adult Literacy Programs
The Iowa Department of Education funds adult literacy and education programs, which include ESL classes. These programs are often free or low-cost, making them accessible to a wider audience.


Des Moines offers a comprehensive ecosystem for learning English, catering to a diverse range of needs and preferences. From formal classroom settings in schools and colleges to informal social learning opportunities and online resources, there are numerous avenues available for enhancing English proficiency. Whether it’s for academic purposes, career advancement, or personal development, learning English in Des Moines is facilitated by quality education providers, supportive community initiatives, and a culturally rich environment. This integration of resources makes Des Moines an ideal location for English learners to thrive.

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