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English Learning Center New Volunteer Orientation English Teaching At the E nglish L earning C enter, we are a learning community of refugees, immigrants and advocates. Our mission is building knowledge for better lives and livelihoods. . Our Mission. Student Story: Aziza

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English Learning CenterNewVolunteer OrientationEnglish TeachingAt the English Learning Center, we are a learningcommunity of refugees, immigrants and advocates. Our mission is building knowledge for better livesand livelihoods.

our mission
Our Mission

Student Story: Aziza

Aziza was an English 5/6 student, but she did not enter the school at such a high level. Just a couple short years earlier, Aziza was a new student in English 2. She studied hard and rapidly advanced to English 4! Aziza took a year off when she had her child, but she did not stop studying. She returned to school and placed into English 5/6. Aziza stayed in that class for nearly a year, closely watching her test results; anxious to “graduate” from this course as well. Finally, the day came when Aziza’s test score leapt out of range for her class and we knew she was ready to move on. She passed the GED entrance exam on her first attempt! Her goals is to study nursing.

Our core value is to educationally empower our students and their families towards self-determination. We desire for our students to determine for themselves what constitutes success. Our goal is to tear down the barriers of language and culture so our students can make their dreams happen, whatever those dreams may be.

cultural awareness
Cultural Awareness

Muslim students Students pray 5 times a day. In the restrooms there are plastic jugs to cleanse their bodies before they pray – don’t throw these away.

There is a separate praying area for men and women.


cultural awareness1
Cultural Awareness

General Don’ts

Even if it’s only to give them a pat for doing a good job, we recommend not touching students.

Some students do not shake hands, so wait for them to initiate that particular greeting.

  • Depending on their educational background, students may be less familiar with American classroom etiquette and culture.
  • We teach content, but we are also teaching social norms and classroom structures. It’s okay to include these pieces in your instruction where you see fit.
emergency preparedness plan inclement weather and fire evacuation
Emergency Preparedness Plan – Inclement Weather and Fire Evacuation

In case of a fire

1) Evacuate the building immediately

2) Instruct all students to leave calmly and meet in courtyard in back of church or yard north of Men’s Transitional House

  • If there is severe weather -- determine your own safety for travel.
  • If severe weather occurs such as a blizzard while class is in session, encourage students to stay at the school until it is safe to go home.
    • AM Teachers: Christine will change her voicemail by 6:30am to reflect a school closing. She will also call teachers, and we’ll post the news on Facebook.
    • PM Teachers: We’ll decide by 3pm whether to cancel school. We will call or email teachers and post the news on Facebook.
  • If class is in session and a tornado watch or warning is issued, keep students in the classrooms if we are in or near the path of the storm. Ensure everyone crouches down and protects his or her head from flying debris.
  • For any other emergency that may require medical attention or law enforcement call 911.
responsibilities of an esl teacher
Responsibilities of an ESL teacher
  • Volunteer once a week (2-3 hours) for one full semester.
  • Complete ESL pre-service training through the Minnesota Literacy Council by end of semester.
  • Arrive with enough time to plan and prepare your lesson. We recommend being at the ELC half an hour before your class (9:00am or 6:15pm).
  • Notify ELC staff if you will be unable to volunteer. If you know in advance, please do your best to find a substitute.
  • Adhere to Volunteer Boundaries Agreement.
responsibilities of an esl teacher1
Responsibilities of an ESL teacher
  • Adapt your teaching to meet the needs of various learning styles and levels of comprehension of your students.
  • Provide a positive and safe learning experience for students.
  • Review curriculum and use supplemental materials (visual aids, objects, job application, etc.) as appropriate to help expand on concepts.
  • Communicate with fellow teachers by leaving notes in the class binder.
  • Keep accurate records of students and volunteer hours.
  • Monitor and evaluate students’ learning progress throughout semester to provide feedback to ELC staff.
connect with elc on facebook
Connect with ELC on Facebook!

contact information
Contact Information

Morning Volunteer Coordinator:

Christine Erickson

Office: (612) 874-9963 x 3

Cell: (612) 695-8671

Evening Volunteer Coordinator:

Kathleen Roche

Office: (612) 874-9963 x 2

Cell: (612) 695-8256