Esperanza Center Educational Services for Volunteer-Teachers

Volunteer with us! January 2022

As a first step, please reach out to the Volunteer Coordinator at [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.

Volunteers in the Adult ESOL Program are either Lead Volunteer-Teachers or Assistant Volunteer-Teachers. You don’t need to speak Spanish; 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 January 18, 2022.

Volunteer-Teachers choose one class:

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

Volunteers teach in pairs (Lead & Assistant) with a group of 3-5 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 2-hour 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

In partnership with Howard Community College (HCC), we offer a special 10-hour program, the Adult ESOL Tutor Certificate. This training is required for all Lead Vol-Teachers who are not already certified ESOL or EFL teachers, and for Assistant Vol-Teachers who want to become Leads in the spring. It includes a combination of asynchronous online instruction and teaching observation, and is great preparation for teaching in our program. 

 For the spring 2022 semester, Esperanza Center and HCC are able to subsidize the course to bring the final cost to volunteers down to $100 (from $200). If the $100 cost of the certificate stands in the way of you becoming a Lead Volunteer-Teacher, please communicate with us about sliding scale payment. For more information about the English Language Center at HCC, click here.

Which volunteer role is right for you?

  • 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.

If you….
Have a degree or certification in TESOL or TEFL
OR choose to enroll in the HCC Adult ESOL Tutor certification course 

… apply to become a Lead Volunteer-Teacher.

As a Lead Volunteer-Teacher, you’ll select the lessons and activities each week, lead the class with help from your Assistant Volunteer-Teacher, and record student progress notes. Each week requires little prep because our staff curates lessons on our website.

If you….
Are not a certified teacher but have an interest in teaching ESOL and supporting immigrant students

…. apply to become an Assistant Volunteer-Teacher.

As an Assistant Volunteer-Teacher, you’ll work with your Lead Volunteer-Teacher to teach the weekly class and record progress notes for each student in your small group. We also welcome any volunteer to enroll in the HCC course at the reduced rate if considering becoming a Lead Volunteer-Teacher in the future.

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.

January 2022 Program Dates

Application for Lead & Assistant Volunteers
Due Jan 10, notification Jan 11

Training & orientation for online Tu/Th volunteers only
Tuesday volunteers: Tuesday Jan 18, 7:30-8:30pm, online

Thursday volunteers: Thursday Jan 20, 7;30-8:30pm, online

For in-person Weds volunteers only:
Weds, Jan 19, 10am-12pm
Esperanza Center, 430 South Broadway in Fells Point

Evening online class: 
Tues Jan 25- Thurs March 31

Morning in-person class:
Weds Jan 26 – March 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 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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