Want to make a difference for local immigrants in your community? EAL offers a full menu of volunteer opportunities with access to a network of training and support.
In addition to the opportunities listed below, we current have an immediate need for volunteers to help us as:Submit a Volunteer Inquiry Form
To be an English tutor, you don’t need previous teaching experience. You don’t even need to know another language.
As a volunteer one-to-one tutor with English At Large, you will be:
- Trained in a 12-hour workshop series to learn the essentials of a successful tutoring relationship.
- Matched with an adult learner in your area.
- Encouraged to work with your learner for 1½ – 2 hours per week, always in a public space—usually a library. (You and your learner will agree on the time and place.)
- Expected to make a minimum commitment of 50 contact hours with your learner.
Beginner English Teaching Support
English At Large Beginner English classes are taught on Tufts University (Medford) and Brandeis University (Waltham) campuses by student volunteers. The 90-minute Beginner English classes meet two days a week during the fall and spring academic semesters. If you have a Masters in TESOL, a CELTA or TEFL ESL teaching certificate, or have experience teaching ESL in the U.S. or abroad, and are interested in supporting the student volunteers at either university with classroom observations and feedback, please contact our staff. This flexible volunteer role provides welcome support and development for the volunteer teachers, as well as an opportunity to see Beginner Classes in action.
Conversation Group Facilitator
Conversation Groups help English learners to build fluency skills and speaking confidence. Each Conversation Group of up to 12 adult English learners from intermediate to advanced levels is led by two co-facilitators. This is a weekly, 1½-hour commitment for a minimum of three months.
As a group leader, you will receive a four-hour training to learn how to:
- Create a constructive and engaging learner-centered environment
- Encourage active conversation among participants
- Work with multi-level English learners
- Select the most beneficial conversation topics
Book Club Group Leader
The English At Large Book Group provides opportunities for intermediate to advanced English learners to practice reading, speaking, and writing skills. Groups of 10-12 learners meet with their discussion leader and group each week for 1½ hours, for a 6-week session. Learners do the assigned reading before the meeting, and might also be assigned a different discussion role to prepare for the next meeting. Learner preparation includes 1-2 hours of reading and approximately 30 minutes of discussion role preparation each week.
The Book Group Discussion Leader’s main role is to facilitate book or short story discussion for groups of 10-12 intermediate to advanced English learners. Group leaders plan activities that promote interactive speaking practice and engage learners. Learners will be encouraged to develop the discussion topics and to participate in small and large group speaking activities. This role requires a 3-hour weekly commitment for 6 weeks, including 1½ hours of weekly meeting time. Discussion leaders read the short story or book prior to the start of session, and plan group discussion activities in advance.
Interview prospective learners to determine their eligibility for the English At Large tutoring program and test their English level. This role has a flexible schedule where volunteers can conduct as few as two interviews per month, or as many as you like.
As an interviewer, you will receive a one-hour training session to learn how to:
- Determine a learner’s goals for learning English
- Gather basic demographic information
- Administer a brief reading/writing and listening/speaking test
- Evaluate all of the information you collect to fully understand the needs of our learners.
This important volunteer function helps English At Large track the language progress of our learners.
As a test administrator, you will complete formal state certification training and administer standardized speaking or writing tests to our learners. Test Administrators can administer as many or as few tests as they like per month, though much of the testing must be completed in May and June.
By serving as a mock interviewer, you will help a learner practice their interviewing skills and build confidence. You will also have the opportunity to share feedback with your candidate and help them diagnose areas for improvement before a real-world interview. This volunteer role typically requires a 5-hour commitment over two weeks.
Changing Volunteer Opportunities
If you don’t have time for a weekly volunteer commitment, consider one of our other volunteer roles:
Event volunteers lend a hand at our volunteer, learner, community, and fundraising events. Typical activities include staffing a raffle table, food table or information booth, greeting guests, registering attendees, or being part of the set-up/clean-up team.
Fundraising & Grant-Writing Volunteer
Help us grow to serve more newcomers by conveying why English At Large is important in your community through fundraisers and grants.
English At Large
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