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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 Mexico and the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The program is entirely taught, and partially designed, by our amazing and generous volunteers from the community.

Volunteer-teachers in our 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 4-hour/week commitment for 11 weeks (one week of training and 10 weeks of class; note that – classes meet 2 times per week and each class is 2 hours long).

Volunteers can choose to teach either a Monday and Wednesday class or a Tuesday and Thursday class:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 10am-12pm, at Esperanza Center
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am-12pm, at Esperanza Center

Please note: There will be one group of students on Mondays and Wednesdays, and another group on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

At least one volunteer in each co-teaching pair is certified or pursuing certification in TESOL or TEFL or has 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 skills. 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, in person classes.

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 2024. 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.
  • All volunteers must be vaccinated; masks are optional.
  • 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.

FY 2024 Program Dates

Online Application for Volunteer-Teachers:
Due Thursday, April 5

Training & Orientation for Monday/Wednesday volunteer-teachers:
Monday, April 22, 10am-12noon, at the Esperanza Center

Training & Orientation for Tuesday/Thursday volunteer-teachers:
Tuesday, April 23, 10am-12noon, at the Esperanza Center

Spring semester dates for Monday/Wednesday classes:
Monday, April 29 – Wednesday, July 3
NO CLASS Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day) or Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth)

Spring semester dates for Tuesday/Thursday classes:
Tuesday, April 30 – Tuesday, July 2
NO CLASS Thursday, July 4 (Independence Day)

Please note: Esperanza Center is located at 430 South Broadway in Fell’s Point, Baltimore 21231. Paid and free neighborhood parking is available.


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: