ELC Volunteer Opportunities

Important:

Please note, due to COVID-19, all student learning and volunteer opportunities are now virtual until further notice.

You make a difference

Volunteers are the foundation of the ELC.

All of our classes are taught by dedicated volunteer teachers who come from many different professional and educational backgrounds. In one year, nearly 200 amazing individuals contribute over 6,000 hours of their time, energy, and talent. Join us, and you will share your students’ joy as they meet goals and pursue dreams.

“I like to volunteer because I think the U.S. can be a hard place to learn about, and I want people to feel that it’s a positive experience to be here. The students are so kind and eager to learn…even when I make mistakes!”

– Mary, ELC Volunteer

“I like to volunteer because I think the U.S. can be a hard place to learn about, and I want people to feel that it’s a positive experience to be here. The students are so kind and eager to learn…even when I make mistakes!”

– Mary, ELC Volunteer

Basic Info

Why become an ELC volunteer?

People just like you volunteer at the ELC for many different reasons:

  • Desire to make a real impact in the lives of adult English language learners who came to the United States as immigrants or refugees
  • Passion to learn about diversity of cultures in your neighborhood
  • Interest in language learning and education
  • Opportunity to gain experience for a future career or to just try something new
  • New friends and a fun, vibrant community

The list could go on and on, but don’t take our word for it. We’re happy to put you in contact with one of our current volunteers to give you the inside scoop on volunteering at the ELC!

What do you look for in an ELC volunteer?

ELC volunteers come with diverse gifts, backgrounds, and experiences. However, we have found that certain qualities help to ensure a good fit and positive experience for everyone:

  • Ability to build relationships with people from an exceptionally diverse range of backgrounds
  • Strong verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • A working knowledge of and/or willingness to learn how to use new virtual tools (WhatsApp, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.)
  • Self-motivated with a high degree of initiative and flexibility
  • Understanding of or interest in immigration issues, the U.S. citizenship process, and/or adult basic education and language learning
What are the time commitments and other requirements?

To provide stability for our students, we do ask for a regular time commitment from our teachers and tutors. Each role has its own weekly time commitment based on the level of consistency in instruction needed to prioritize our students’ learning. Please see role descriptions below for more information.

In order to lead in a classroom, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Individuals ages 16-18 are welcome to serve as assistant teachers.

Volunteers must also provide two non-family member references and pass a background check. Prior criminal offenses, however, do not automatically disqualify you from participating at the ELC.

Do I need to have teaching experience?

We offer opportunities for all levels of experience and background. Staff provides the orientation and ongoing training and support that you need to be successful in your volunteer role. Our English classes use a customized curriculum that provides both support and flexibility for varying levels of experience. If you prefer, you may also choose to co-teach with another volunteer teacher.

All volunteers must attend a 1-2 hour ELC Zoom orientation and 1-2 hours tutoring observation, with further training as necessary.

How do I become a volunteer?

3 easy steps to begin volunteering:

  1. Review volunteer opportunities—find the right fit for you.
  2. Complete our online application to begin the process, or email our volunteer coordinators with your availability and interests.
  3. One of our volunteer coordinators will contact you to set up an intro call on Zoom and move forward from there.

Volunteer Opportunities

WhatsApp Tutor (English or citizenship)
  • Tutor 1-3 students using WhatsApp video chat and our pre-written curriculum
  • Lead activities based off pre-written curriculum, specific to the students’ level
  • Choose to meet with students either 1 or 2 days/week at your designated time
  • Take attendance and communicate student progress and needs with ELC staff
  • No TEFL or teaching experience required – we will provide training for you!
  • Especially seeking native Somali, Spanish, and Oromo speakers 
  • Must have prior experience using or willingness to learn how to use WhatsApp
Google Classroom Assistant (English or Citizenship)
  • Assist Google Classroom teacher during synchronous Google Meet class call
  • Model pronunciation, conversation, reading, and other activities as needed
  • Break off into 1:1 tutoring session with students, as needed
  • Choose between volunteering 2 or 4 days/week
  • Occasionally fill in as substitute teacher in the event of teacher absence
  • No TEFL or teaching experience required – we will provide training for you!
Google Classroom Teacher (English or Citizenship)
  • Lead a class of 3-6 students in a Google Meet video call on the Google Classroom platform
  • Use set lesson plans to create interactive 1-hour long sessions 
  • Meet with students 4 days/week (Mon-Thurs) at your designated time
  • Take attendance and communicate with staff about student progress and needs
  • Must be TEFL certified or have previous teaching experience in MN 
  • Especially seeking native Somali, Spanish, and Oromo speakers 
  • Must have a willingness to learn or prior experience using Google Classroom and Google Meet

Ready to Volunteer?

As a certified Service Enterprise organization, we align the passions and skills of volunteers with meaningful volunteer positions that achieve our mission and increase the impact in our community. We are proud to join this top 11 percent of organizations in volunteer management and organizational performance.

Thank you for choosing to make a difference through education. We can’t wait to meet you and get started!
For questions or further information:

Hayat Mohamed (AM) &
Hannah Smith (PM)
Volunteer Coordinators
volunteer@englishlc.org
612.874.9963×2

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2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.871.5900
Fax | 612.871.0017

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2219 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.872.4193
Fax | 612.872.4442

English Learning Center

2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.874.9963
Fax | 612.871.0017