English classes (known as English as a Second Language, or ESL) are for people whose first language is not English, but who want to learn or improve their English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. ESL classes generally have around five or six students per volunteer tutor.
Classes started at the most basic beginner level, and go through to Advanced English (see details about graduation below). Lessons are structured around a curriculum, but tutors are also encouraged to supplement with materials of particular interest to their students, and goal-setting is a core element of our approach to personalized learning.
Many students in our English classes are looking to improve their language skills because they are parents, and they want to give their children the best possible start in life. In order to give these motivated students the most practical help we can, we offer specialized Parent ESL classes, which focus on the language and cultural elements important for parents navigating the US school system when English is not their first language.
Similarly, many students want to improve their English language skills because they are workers, and know that better English will help them get and keep better jobs. In addition to specialized supplemental classes on a variety of work-related topics, we offer Transition services to help these motivated students apply for jobs, navigate the interview process, and move up the career ladder.
Because we have a large wait-list, ESL students who are waiting for class placement are encouraged to come to "the Waiting Class", a mixed-ability, mainly conversational class designed to help students practice English before placement.
When a student's test results (in listening skills) indicate that they are ready, they will move to Advanced English, a transitional class which focuses on pronunciation and conversation skills, and prepares students to graduate from our programs. Graduated students are invited to join the Literacy Advance Alumni group or to consider becoming volunteers!
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- 175 adult students took reading classes (Adult Basic Education, or ABE)
- 1,165 adult students took English classes (English as a Second Language, or ESL)
- 770 classes of all types (reading + English + supplemental)
- 99% of students made progress toward a life goal
- 260 volunteer tutors
- 10 Family Literacy Events
- 850 Family Literacy attendees
- Over 2,000 new books given out to kids
- 600+ check-in phone calls made in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey