Esperanza Center Educational Services for Volunteer-Teachers

Volunteer with us! April 2022

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), starting the week of April 19, 2022.

Volunteer-Teachers choose one class:

Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm, via Zoom
Wednesdays, 10am-12pm, at Esperanza Center
Thursdays, 7-8:30pm, via Zoom

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 3-8 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.

HCC Adult ESOL Tutor Certificate (no April session; course will run again in fall 2022)

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 Zoom (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.

April 2022 Program Dates

Application for Volunteer-Teachers:
Due April 7

Training & orientation for online volunteers:
Tuesday volunteers: Tuesday April 19, 7-8pm, online

Thursday volunteers: Thursday April 21, 7-8pm, online

For in-person volunteers:
Weds, April 20, 10am-12pm
Esperanza Center, 430 South Broadway in Fells Point

Evening online class:
Tues April 26 – Thurs June 30

Morning in-person class:
Weds April 27 – Weds June 29


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 see: Teaching/Administrative Internships. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for more information: [email protected]

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

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