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Due to COVID-19 regulations ELIS service remains suspended. Find out what has changed by reading the State Library reopening FAQs.

The English Language Improvement Service (ELIS) supplements other English language and literacy programs within South Australia by providing self-help materials and opportunities to improve your conversation.

Keep up to date with ELIS news

Follow the ELIS Facebook group to keep up to date with the latest in tutor and conversation group updates.

Conversation groups - temporarily suspended

Conversation Groups are provided for small groups to practice speaking English and are facilitated by competent volunteer tutors who are happy to assist customers who want to learn English. Tutors will:

  • familiarise users with the collection's independent learning resources and equipment by referring to the Information Desk staff
  • provide assistance with various aspects of the English language
  • assist with advice on pronunciation and understanding of Australian idiom
  • refer customers to other organisations as required.

Desk Tutors - temporarily suspended

Desk tutors will:

  • provide one on one conversation practice
  • assist with correct pronunciation
  • assist with the selection of English learning resources from State Library collection.
  • assist with editing up to two pages of writing such as letters, journals or other work
  • give basic guidance on study and test-taking techniques.

"Road to IELTS" (International English Language Testing System)

This software program is available on computers named ELIS 1 and 2 located near the Information Desk.

  • Book an ELIS computer at the Information Desk.
  • You can book up to two hours.
  • Advanced bookings can be made for up to one day beforehand.

Other Resources

ELIS has a self-help collection consisting of books, audio cassette kits, CD-ROMs and Audio CDs.  ELIS materials are to be used inside the main library area.

  • Audio cassette players, CD, DVD, video players and special ELIS computers are available for you to use with the electronic materials.
  • Headphones are provided and these are cleaned after each use.

English language learning software programs on CD-ROM are available (such as Issues in English or Dingo Bingo) and loaded for use on the computers numbered ELIS 1 and 2.

  • Book an ELIS computer at the Information Desk and ask for the CD-ROM.
  • Headphones are attached to computers.
  • ELIS Tutors can help you to choose an appropriate computer program and level.

Book an ELIS Computer - temporarily suspended

  • To book an ELIS computer you need a State Library card. Don't have one? Join the State Library!
  • Book a computer by phone: (08) 8207 7250 or visit us.

Keep informed with our ELIS DESK and conversation group updates

Find more help

Find a public library in South Australia

English language improvement in public libraries

Some public libraries in South Australia offer similar English language improvement services, so if you can't make it into the State Library, locate your nearest local library and see what they can offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Things to know about conversation groups

  • The conversation group tutor wears a red lanyard.
  • Conversations groups are mixed level.
  • There may be a different topic addressed each week.
  • There is a maximum of 19 participants per group.
  • These groups are not offered on weekends or public holidays.
  • Check the State Library of SA's facebook page to stay informed of any changes.

Things to know about desk tutors

  • Each appointment is for 25 minutes.
  • Desk tutors are not available on weekends or public holidays.
  • There are occasional late cancellations to tutor services due to circumstances beyond our control.
  • Check the State Library of SA's facebook page to stay informed of any changes.
  • If you arrive late, your appointment will still end at the time indicated on the Appointment Sheet. If you are more than ten minutes late, your appointment may be cancelled and the remaining time given to someone else.

What do I need to do before I meet with a desk tutor?

  • It is useful to plan what you would like to concentrate on with a Desk Tutor.
  • You might want to practise conversation, discuss a piece of writing or get help with studying.
  • If you would like to practise conversation, try to think of a topic you would like to discuss, such as interesting places to travel in Australia, or something you have read in a newspaper.
  • Another suggestion is to write down things that puzzle you and bring that to your session with the tutor to discuss.
  • If you would like to discuss a piece of your writing, it will be easier for a tutor to help you if you leave room for them to write on your work.
  • Use wide margins and double spacing so they can write comments. Remember that a tutor cannot help you with your assignments unless they have already been marked.
  • Tutors can also suggest resources in the library which are appropriate to your needs.