The only program of its kind in New York City, Riverside’s full-time, immersive program enables students to improve their English language and life skills rapidly. Our unique program fast-tracks newly-resettled immigrants, asylees and refugees, to employment commensurate with their skills and experience, or to continue with their post-secondary education. Riverside students achieve results in weeks that would take months, if not years, in a part-time class; our intensive six-week program is equivalent to one year in a part-time class.


Here’s how our program works:

  • Riverside offers several levels of English classes, for students from beginners to high-intermediate and beyond

  • Students are pre-tested to determine the appropriate-level class for their needs and after six weeks, post-tested to measure their educational gain

  • All classes are taught by highly experienced ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) instructors, who hold Master’s Degrees in TESOL, or a closely-related discipline

  • Classes are five days a week, from 9am to 3pm and each class lasts 6 weeks. Classes have approximately 20 students

  • Instruction is focused on speaking and listening skills, with the emphasis on building practical and contextual fluency and accurate pronunciation, rather than rote learning

  • Riverside’s dedicated volunteers complement classroom instruction, by facilitating informal conversation sessions several times a week. Conversation provides students with authentic opportunities to communicate in a ‘real world’ situation, building their fluency and confidence

  • Our curriculum provides IT instruction and regular practice, as well as job-readiness workshops and referrals to community partners for potential job placement

  • Civics instruction is a core part of the curriculum, helping students assimilate in their new lives in New York City. Class trips give our newly-resettled immigrants insight into the city’s history and cultural treasures

  • Certificates are awarded upon completion of each class


After each six-week cycle, students may move on to another class at the next level. Continuation is not automatic and depends upon several factors, including the student’s level of English proficiency and the teacher’s assessment of the student’s progress.