English Learning Center

Program Overview

We are a learning community of adult learners, advocates, staff, and volunteer teachers.

We are dedicated to supporting adult learners seeking to increase their English literacy as they navigate life in the U.S.

Our Community

Our 350 students came to the U.S. as immigrants or refugees, representing more than 24 countries; many identify now as U.S. citizens or adult learners. Our students speak over 17 first languages, and our staff can assist in up to 13 of those languages. 

We welcome students from many educational backgrounds. For some, the ELC is their first formal educational experience; for others, our school offers a chance to brush up on skills before pursuing education at a higher level. Our students are parents, grandparents, poets, workers, doulas, neighbors, and leaders in their community, including that of the ELC. Everything we do is informed by their input and expertise. 

Our 100+ volunteers and 10 ELC staff also bring a variety of life experiences to our classrooms. Together, we listen to and learn from each other to cultivate an educational community that prioritizes the needs and goals of our learners. We are so glad you’re here – welcome!

What We Do

At the most basic: Education. Opportunity. Community.

We provide free, culturally sensitive English language education, as well as classes in math and citizenship preparation. We strive to meet learners where they are by offering high quality classes at different levels, at different times, for different abilities, and in different modalities.

Our work is grounded in relationships. We care deeply about the well-being of each other and treat individuals with dignity and respect, acknowledging and appreciating each person’s needs, dreams, languages and culture.

Our Community

Our 350 students came to the U.S. as immigrants or refugees, representing more than 24 countries; many identify now as U.S. citizens or adult learners. Our students speak over 17 first languages, and our staff can assist in up to 13 of those languages. 

We welcome students from many educational backgrounds. For some, the ELC is their first formal educational experience; for others, our school offers a chance to brush up on skills before pursuing education at a higher level. Our students are parents, grandparents, poets, workers, doulas, neighbors, and leaders in their community, including that of the ELC. Everything we do is informed by their input and expertise. 

Our 100+ volunteers and 10 ELC staff also bring a variety of life experiences to our classrooms. Together, we listen to and learn from each other to cultivate an educational community that prioritizes the needs and goals of our learners. We are so glad you’re here – welcome!

What We Do

At the most basic: Education. Opportunity. Community.

We provide free, culturally sensitive English language education, as well as classes in math and citizenship preparation. We strive to meet learners where they are by offering high quality classes at different levels, at different times, for different abilities, and in different modalities.

Our work is grounded in relationships. We care deeply about the well-being of each other and treat individuals with dignity and respect, acknowledging and appreciating each person’s needs, dreams, languages and culture.

Why It Matters

From healthcare to banking, transportation and shopping to employment, access to language and literacy impacts every aspect of our lives. But learning another language, on top of adjusting to a completely new place and culture (and climate!) is hard. Especially when systems are built against you and you’re expected to do it on your own.

That’s why the English Learning Center exists. Because we believe that no one should have to navigate life in a new country alone, especially after years, often decades, of trauma and loss. Our immigrant and refugee neighbors are just that – neighbors. And neighbors help each other.

Current Program Goals

  • Broaden the way we include students’ whole selves in our work, including providing more wrap around services and more directly accompanying students to access other resources.
  • Advocate for and work to provide technology and access for students to participate in online learning.
  • Provide both online and paper/phone based distance learning options that are high quality, and demonstrate student learning gains in speaking, listening, reading, and writing English.
  • Gather feedback and ideas from students, and involve students in programmatic decisions and opportunities.
  • Internally address our white supremacy, looking at ways that we benefit from and perpetuate racist structures and systems. Always choose to do what is right and critically minded over what has been done before.

What to Do Next

Meet

Meet the students of the English Learning Center! Be inspired by their stories of hope and resilience.

Learn

Learn more about how to become a student and improve your English skills.

Volunteer

Become a volunteer teacher and share your students’ joy as they meet goals and pursue dreams.

Make a donation today to change lives

2315 Chicago Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone | 612.871.5900
Fax | 612.871.0017

communications@oscs-mn.org

Our Saviour's Housing

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