English At Large Programs serve adult immigrants who live or work in our 24-community service area, giving them the skills and confidence they need to reach their full potential and achieve their life goals.
Just as no two learners are alike, English At Large does not have a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Our learners have different learning styles, different rates of processing information, and varying degrees of comfort when speaking a new language.
Each individual learner is unique, so our Tutors and Conversation Group Facilitators are trained to use a variety of teaching approaches to fit their needs.
English At Large is the only organization in our service area that provides one-to-one English language instruction. For those who want to learn English but struggle to learn in large classroom settings, or who are challenged to balance multiple work or family obligations, our One-to-One Tutoring Program is their only option.
Our learners thrive in a program delivered locally on a schedule that fits their busy lives, and that also offers a rigorous educational experience focused on their individual goals.
Our Tutoring Program …
- supports up to 80 tutor-learner pairs at any given time
- typically serves 80 – 100 learners each year.
The one-to-one tutoring relationship utilizes each learner’s strengths as a foundation for addressing his or her individual needs. The process to pair a tutor and learner takes into consideration availability, geography, as well as learner needs and volunteer interests, in an effort to ensure the best match possible.
EAL Tutors …
- complete 12 hours of interactive, workshop-style initial training
- receive initial training as well as ongoing support and personal guidance from EAL staff
- have access to free professional development workshops
- attend volunteer networking events to exchange best practices
- have full access to the EAL library’s instructional resources
Once matched, volunteer tutors meet individually with their adult learners for 2 hours each week. All services are delivered in public spaces, including local libraries, at a day and time convenient for both. Lessons target each learner’s goals, which may include employment, citizenship, and/or being an advocate for a child or family member. EAL tutors guide and encourage their learners to find ways to practice English skills every day in real-life situations, outside of their tutoring sessions. This approach helps the learner develop real communication skills that can be used immediately in their daily life.
Once enrolled, learners receive one year (100 hours) of tutoring services. Those who graduate from our One-to-One Tutoring Program often maintain a relationship with their EAL tutor for many years.
Learn how to enroll a learner in our program
EAL Conversation Groups engage intermediate to advanced English language learners in constructive activities that support ongoing language development. Because many participants interact with few native English speakers, this program provides a critical opportunity to practice spontaneous, spoken English in a supportive group setting.
Conversation Groups give participants a chance to …
- expand their vocabulary
- speak English more confidently
- increase their understanding of U.S. norms and customs
- make valuable connections with other English language learners in their community
EAL runs Conversation Groups on a trimester schedule; new groups begin in February, May and September each year. Up to 26 different groups in 16 different communities are run concurrently, varied in time of day and location, to make learning accessible and convenient. The groups engage up to 350 learners each semester; many are graduates of the tutoring program and enroll in groups for several consecutive semesters.
Career Access Lab (CAL)
More than 60% of our learners have a Bachelor’s degree from their home country; more than 95% have come to the U.S. eager to work. To assist and support their efforts to join the workforce and obtain meaningful employment, EAL created the Career Access Lab (CAL).
Launched in 2016, CAL is an instructional program for newcomers who feel confused or overwhelmed by the U.S. job market and the expectations of a job search. Through CAL, learners participate in a 15-week Career Group, which offers an introduction to the American workforce, resume-writing support, mock interview practice, cover letter writing support, job search resources, and referrals to educational and training programs. Enrollment in the program begins with an intake meeting, to assess each learner’s needs and career skills. Those with professional credentials or specific career goals may also be matched with a mentor, who provides additional guidance and support during the job search process.
This comprehensive approach to career readiness empowers our learners to take full advantage of their professional potential. Since its inception, more than 100 learners have utilized CAL to help them achieve their employment and career goals.Learn more about the Career Access Lab
Beginner English Class
EAL partners with Tufts University student volunteers to offer Beginner English classes to learners in Medford and surrounding communities. The Beginner curriculum fills a real need for “survival English” instruction. Students learn basic English communication, including how to give personal information, navigate their communities, and talk about their daily activities.
Classes are facilitated by Tufts student volunteers through the school’s community service program. These students are enthusiastic teachers who devote two evenings each week during the academic year (September to May) to the Beginner classes. EAL provides student volunteers with a full Beginner curriculum, initial training, and support and mentoring throughout the year. Since its inception, 60 learners have completed the program.Sign up for a Beginner English class
Summer Book Groups
EAL hosts Book Groups during the summer at public libraries in our service area. Book Groups provide opportunities for intermediate to advanced English language learners to practice reading, speaking, and writing skills. Groups of 8-10 learners meet with their facilitator and group each week for 1.5 hours, for a 6-week session. Participants read the assigned text, prepare talking points in advance, and take an active role in leading the discussion. Book Group Facilitators attend a one-time, two-hour EAL training workshop, and use materials to explore story concepts, word use, composition, and cultural comparisons.
Past EAL Book Groups have read The Alchemist, The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and The Giver, as well as a collection of classic American short stories.
Join a Book Club
English At Large offers two programs through our relationships with local partners.
Please note that learners cannot register directly for these programs.
Workplace English is a partnership program offering with local businesses to provide strategic instruction in the workplace to help employees improve their English skills. Services are offered at the work site and are designed to help employees acquire the vocabulary and speaking confidence they need to communicate with co-workers, customers and management. Instructors use workplace resources to incorporate company culture, policies and procedures into the language learning process. EAL Programs are delivered by local volunteers who are trained and support by EAL staff.
Workplace English provides small group instruction for those who speak little to no English. Learners practice simple greetings, introducing themselves, asking basic questions, and learn beginner vocabulary that is relevant to their immediate needs. (90% basic beginner; 10% workplace English)
For more information about Workplace English, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caregiver English is a 6-week instructional program that helps intermediate to advanced English speakers understand the language and culture of special education and/or mental health services in the U.S. This program is designed to serve adult parents and caregivers who have a child who is receiving these services, and may be struggling to understand some of the acronyms or terms they are hearing, and also may not understand the role they play in their child’s success.
Caregiver English is offered on-site at schools that request it. For more information about Caregiver English, please contact us at email@example.com
English At Large
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