Our ESL Program integrates relevant teaching practices in grammar, writing, listening-speaking, and reading in an inclusive environment that develops students’ language as well as the cultural awareness they will need to thrive. Through the lens of empowering the whole person, the ESL program complements the wraparound services Canal Alliance provides so that very low-income, adult immigrants can improve their access to education, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to ultimately get on the pathway out of poverty.
Canal Alliance’s ESL Program prepares Latino immigrants to feel empowered, supported and motivated to lift barriers to their success through a communicative language framework alongside strengths-based learning.
All ESL classes and volunteer trainings will be online. There will not be any in-person meetings.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older
- Fall 2020 semester dates: August 24 – December 3, 2020
- Spring 2021 semester dates: February 1 – May 13, 2021
All classes are held from 8:00 to 10:00 pm Pacific Time via Zoom
Class days are Monday through Thursday; aides assist in one 2-hour class session per week
There is a mandatory team meeting from 7:45 to 8:00 pm each week on your volunteer day.
Note: If you are not able to make a weekly commitment, consider volunteering as a substitute aide. The training requirements are the same.
- Commitment to cultural and linguistic responsiveness
- Experience using Zoom, or participation in technical training (see below). Must be able to: access documents provided by the teacher (pdfs, videos, digital textbook); share screen (including video and sound); annotate shared documents; use the whiteboard; and use the chat function. Training on these functions will be provided, but after the training, any further questions about Zoom will need to be researched by the individual aide, because staff resources need to go to student support.
- Alignment with Canal Alliance’s mission and ESL program goals
- Commitment to assist in one 2-hour class per week plus attend pre-class team meeting
- Commitment to assist for at least one full semester, with minimal absences, and attempt to find own substitute from within team when necessary
- Attendance at one orientation (for new volunteers) and one professional development session per semester (all will be online via Zoom)
- Reliable internet and access to a device with a camera. Computer is strongly recommended; a tablet may be sufficient if you are able share your screen and perform all necessary Zoom functions.
Training Dates (all trainings are via Zoom)
- Orientation (required only for new volunteers): one 1-hour session; will be offered multiple times in December and January
- Technical training/practice (required unless you are already proficient with Zoom): 1.5-hour session during the week of January 11; exact date and time tba
- Professional Development (required for both new and returning volunteers): one 2.5-hour evening session either January 25 or January 26, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm
- Help the teacher establish the virtual classroom as a safe place and provide a nurturing, supportive, and positive learning environment; build positive and respectful relationships with students
- Help the teacher model instructions, conversations and activities
- Assist the teacher with management of the online class if requested: act as Zoom co-host (mute/unmute students, put students in breakout rooms, relay questions to teacher, etc.)
- In breakout rooms:
- lead activities in teacher’s lesson plan, monitor and assist students (with teacher’s direction)
- Using Zoom, share your screen, annotate shared documents, use the whiteboard, and use the chat
- Help to ensure all students are participating and are using English
- Monitor class and advise the teacher of students who are struggling, or topics that need clarification
- Take attendance if requested
- Join each class Zoom session 10 to 15 minutes before class starts for team meeting
- Attend required orientation, professional development, and technical training (details below)
- Download and use the Remind app to receive messages from the teacher
- Respect and follow program policies and teacher’s instructions
- Respond promptly to communications from teacher, team, and ESL staff
- Be culturally and linguistically responsive in the classroom
- Follow through with volunteer commitment unless work schedule changes or an unforeseen emergency comes up
Skills & Attributes
- Friendly, outgoing and flexible
- Calm, patient and attentive with students
- Enjoy interacting with people of all ages and ethnicities
- Able to build positive and respectful relationships with students, teachers and ESL staff
- Comfortable working with people of varied cultural and socio-economic backgrounds
- Proactive and able to work with minimal direction
- Personal experience learning another language as an adult is helpful
- Knowledge of Spanish helpful but not required
- Initiative and willingness to independently learn about and troubleshoot technical issues