Learn About Us

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) of Malden, MA, is a not-for-profit organization that gives immigrants a voice in three ways:

  • The English Language Program provides free, year-round ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes to help immigrant and refugee adults in Greater Boston become successful workers, parents and community members.
  • The Public Education Institute informs Americans about immigrants and immigration in the United States.
  • The Institute for Immigration Research, a joint venture with George Mason University, conducts research on the economic contributions of immigrants.

To stay up-to-date on our student stories, webinars, research and other projects, sign up for our newsletter.

The Immigrant Learning Center building

Annual Report

2022 Annual Report cover

In fiscal year 2022, The Immigrant Learning Center served 620 students from 56 countries, from Afghanistan to Vietnam, living in 57 local communities, from Abington to Worcester.

The ILC’s Public Education Institute produced 44 episodes of the podcast JobMakers, published research on immigrant essential workers, produced new curricula in the Teaching U.S. Immigration Series and more.

The Institute for Immigration Research, a joint venture with George Mason University, published six research reports, 35 on-demand fact sheets and six webinars.

For all the details, you can read the full FY2022 Annual Report here.



Diane Portnoy opened The Immigrant Learning Center on November 9, 1992, with three teachers, 60 students and 80 on the waitlist.


Received first grant from MA Dept. of Education. Used funds to expand from three to four levels of English classes. The ILC continues to receive government grants, totaling roughly 25 percent of the annual budget.

Opened first computer lab with five computers.


Created first Citizenship Class


Started first Literacy Class to address the needs of students with literacy challenges.


Held ribbon cutting ceremony on April 5, 2002, to commemorate placing The Immigrant Learning Center’s name on the building and the growth of the first 10 years from three classrooms to three full floors of English education.


Formed the Immigrant Theater Class where students learn to express themselves in English by writing and performing plays.

Launched the Public Education Program to educate Americans that immigrants are assets to the country (renamed Public Education Institute in 2010).


Received 27 computers from IBM, transforming the patched together computer lab into a real technology program


Established the Senior Conversation Class for students aged 60 and above who may otherwise be socially isolated.


Expanded to the fourth floor. Now occupying four out of five floors at 442 Main Street.


Co-sponsored the first, annual Swearing-In Ceremony for new American citizens with the City of Malden.


The ILC Public Education Institute held its first online workshop for educators. The Institute now produces multiple webinars per year for multiple audiences reaching up to 1,000 people at a time.

Partnered with George Mason University to create the Institute for Immigration Research.

Held first, annual The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner.

Launched Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Debuted book, Immigrant Struggles, Immigrant Gifts.


Created a Citizenship Class for students in the Literacy Program


Piloted the English for Entrepreneurs Class.


Added Next Steps Class to focus on helping students reach education and job goals.

Modernized computer lab with grant from The Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation.


Renamed The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards as the Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards.


Published first curriculum in the Teaching U.S. Immigration Series

Served more than 10,500 students to date from 122 countries and 89 Greater Boston communities.


Hired first executive director, Vince Rivers


Celebrated 30 years of giving immigrants a voice

Served more than 11,500 students to date from 122 countries and 89 Greater Boston communities.

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