The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Start of main content.

Educational Services for Volunteer-Teachers

Volunteer with us!

As a first step, please reach out to [email protected] AND fill out a volunteer profile here. Thanks for your interest!

Volunteers in Esperanza Center’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program have been teaching English to adults in Baltimore since 1963. Students in our program come from all over the world, primarily from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The program is entirely taught, and partially designed, by volunteers from the community.

Volunteer-teachers in the Adult ESOL Program co-teach in pairs with small groups of students. You don’t need to speak a language other than English, but you must be 18 years or older to volunteer. All volunteers commit to a 2-hour/week commitment for 11 weeks (one week of training and ten weeks of class).

Volunteer-Teachers choose one or two classes:

  • Mondays, 10am-12pm, at Esperanza Center
  • Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm, via Microsoft Teams
  • Wednesdays, 10am-12pm, at Esperanza Center
  • Thursdays, 7-8:30pm, via Microsoft Teams

Please note, that there will be the same group of students on Mondays and Wednesdays, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Priority may be given to teachers who can volunteer twice a week.

At least one volunteer in each co-teaching pair is certified or pursuing certification in TESOL or TEFL. Volunteer-teachers work with a group of 5-10 students of the same level of English, the same students every week. After each class, volunteers take time to fill out brief progress notes for each student who attended.

Building a learning community, problematizing expectations of Standard English, and centering students’ individual goals are high priorities in our program! At the orientation and training, our staff prepare all volunteers with the logistics of teaching fun, inclusive small group classes online or in person.

Volunteer with us! Reach out to the Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected] and fill out a volunteer profile here. Thanks for your interest!

HCC Adult ESOL Tutor Certificate

In partnership with Howard Community College (HCC), we offer a special 10-hour program, the Adult ESOL Tutor Certificate. This training prepares anyone to teach ESOL to adult immigrant students. You’ll learn how to create highly engaging and culturally competent classes for small groups, with minimum preparation. The certificate course includes a combination of asynchronous online instruction and teaching observation. We highly recommend it for all volunteers!

The certificate course will run again in Sept 2022. The cost will be approx $50 (subsidized for our volunteers; usually $200). For more information about the English Language Center at HCC, click here.

Volunteer requirements:

  • All volunteers must be 18 or older.
  • The only language requirement is comfort with English.
  • Online volunteers (Tues/Thurs) must have a camera, reliable internet access, and comfort using Microsoft Teams (logging on, sharing screen and audio, chat function).
  • In-person volunteers (Weds) must be vaccinated and wear a mask.
  • All volunteers must complete the Esperanza Center training before beginning to volunteer.

Please note: Our goal is for every volunteer in our program to feel fully supported in their role while providing outstanding ESOL instruction for our students. We may not be able to accept all potential volunteers who apply each semester.

Fall 2022 Program Dates

Application for Volunteer-Teachers:
Due September 5

Training & orientation for online volunteers:
Tuesday volunteers: Tuesday September 13, 7-9pm, online
Thursday volunteers: Thursday September 15, 7-9pm, online

For in-person volunteers:
Monday, September 12, 10am-12pm, in-person at the Esperanza Center
Wednesday, September 14, 10am-12pm
Esperanza Center is located at 430 South Broadway in Fells Point in Baltimore, MD

Evening online class:
Tuesday, September 27 – Thursday, December 1

Morning in-person class:
Monday, September 26 – Wednesday, November 30


Would you like to gain more in-depth ESOL teaching or non-profit administration experience? We consider potential interns on an individual basis. To get a sense of the kinds of tasks in which we typically engage interns, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information: [email protected]

Please visit our Volunteer Information page for all the steps to volunteer!

Resources for Teachers – Archived materials

ESL Curriculum Guide- Archive version

Table of Contents

  1. Family – Basics
  2. Food
  3. Neighborhood
  4. Daily Routine
  5. Money – Shopping
  6. Healthy Living
  7. Jobs – Working
  8. US Civics – Culture
  9. ESL Videos

Other Curricula: