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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, though the majority of our students are 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 or 4-hour/week commitment for 11 weeks (one week of training and ten weeks of class).

Volunteers can choose one class time or select both Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday:

  • 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 or have taken the Howard Community College Adult ESL Tutor Certificate Course (see more information below). Volunteer-teachers work with a group of 4-10 students of the same level of English, the same students every week. Volunteer-Teachers in our program use our online curriculum to lead activities, engage in conversations with students, teach new concepts, and reinforce materials. They also coordinate lesson planning with their co-teacher before class and make notes about student progress after class. They may also supplement the curriculum with other materials and may be observed by staff or prospective ESOL teachers.

This volunteer position provides valuable experience in lesson planning, collaboration, and adult education. It also provides volunteers with the unique opportunity to develop an intercultural learning community while teaching English language skills that will help students in their daily lives. 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 September 2023. The cost will be approximately $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 (Mon/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.

Spring 2023 Program Dates

Application for Volunteer-Teachers:
Due Thursday, April 6

Training & orientation for online volunteers:
Tuesday, April 18, 7-8:30pm via Microsoft Teams (link will be emailed to accepted volunteers)

For in-person volunteers:
Monday, April 17, 10am-11:30am, in-person at the Esperanza Center
Esperanza Center is located at 430 South Broadway in Fells Point in Baltimore, MD

Evening online class:
Tuesday, April 25 – Thursday, June 29

Morning in-person class:
Monday, April 24 – Wednesday, June 28
NO CLASS May 29 (Memorial Day) or June 19 (Juneteenth)


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

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: