Volunteer opportunities

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:

EAL Volunteer Test Administrator

EAL Program Support Volunteer

Submit a Volunteer Inquiry Form


One-to-one Tutors

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.

Intake Assessor

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.
Test Administrator

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.

Career Access Lab (CAL) Volunteer

Our Career Access Lab (CAL) welcomes volunteers willing to share their experience in the U.S. workforce

CAL volunteers support the Career Readiness Group, a 15-week program that covers the skills needed to start a career in the US. The topics include resumes, cover letters, networking skills, job interview skills, and information about US workforce culture.

Volunteers may choose to:

  • Visit the CAL Group to co-facilitate a career lesson
  • Provide Career Mentoring to a CAL participant
  • Offer feedback at the Resume Review Event
  • Conduct interviews at the Mock Interview Event
  • Participate in the Networking Event

For more information on volunteering in CAL, please contact the program facilitator at americorps@englishatlarge.org

Changing Volunteer Opportunities

If you don’t have time for a weekly volunteer commitment, consider one of our other volunteer roles:

Event Volunteer

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

800 West Cummings Park, Suite 5550
Woburn, MA 01801
tel : 781.395.2374
email : info@englishatlarge.org

We thank our sponsors


Follow us on Twitter

Thank you @SenJasonLewis for supporting EAL and important services for local immigrants with your fellow Senators @CindyFriedmanMA @BarrettSenate @JamieEldridgeMA

Happening now: Volunteer Networking event with presentation by Castel Law on immigration.

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We are grateful for the leadership of @CindyFriedmanMA @BarrettSenate @JamieEldridgeMA for their actions to help ensure that free, accessible programs remain available for immigrants in our community.

Program Alert: Register now for our summer Conversation Group in Acton:

Special Alert: Take Action Now to Preserve Local Programs! https://t.co/EXcwpXvvzF

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EAL quick fact: 65% of our learners hold a Bachelors or Masters degree from their home country. Language is a barrier to their professional goals.

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Are you learning English? Do you love to read? Registration is now open for our 6-week Summer Book Group Program! @ActonMemLibrary @winpublib @walthamlibrary @woburnlibrary

Read more about the Cotting School & @cummingsdotcom connection here, & follow our Facebook page May 14-18 when we'll raffle off 5 FREE copies of Bill Cummings' new book: #StartingSmallAndMakingItBig! https://t.co/s9CEmrP98L
#CottingAndCummings #AmReading #BookRaffle

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Register Now for Summer Conversation Groups! https://t.co/fDltanuRKE

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Conversation Starters: News You Need to Hear from English At Large! https://t.co/RMZu91yTgC

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Bev runs a Conversation Group with partner Bonnie and encourages others to volunteer. "You will learn a great deal and be given a sense that what you are doing is valuable and contributing to your community." #Volunteers help make our communities strong and welcoming to all!

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We partner with @TuftsUniversity to engage students as teachers of Beginner English. As a volunteer teacher, Luke was surprised by how enthusiastic the students are to come learn and attend classes twice a week; they are ready to learn! Thank you for #makingadifference!

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"The promise of EAL is that learners can go to a restaurant or a shop, or to speak with their child’s teacher and feel comfortable communicating. Being able to contribute in these other ways has enriched my life and I’ve made new friends." Vicki, Conversation Group Leader

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Jim, an EAL tutor has great advice for anyone thinking about volunteer service: “Do it! You’ll be thrilled you did it!” Our volunteers deliver more than 6,000 hours of service each year and help hundreds of English learners working to achieve their life goals! #awesome

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