English In Action seeks volunteer tutors living or working in the Roaring Fork Valley between Carbondale and Aspen.
Become a Tutor
We have a long waiting list of students who would like to have a tutor, and your help is needed.
Many people think that they need to speak Spanish in order to become a tutor, but that’s not true. Having tutors who speak Spanish is helpful for our beginning students, but we have more advanced students who really need to practice speaking with an English speaker. You also don’t need to have any prior teaching experience.
Here’s what you do need in order to become a tutor:
- Live or work in the Roaring Fork Valley between Carbondale and Aspen
- The availability to attend required trainings. We are currently hosting online trainings via Zoom.
- Time to tutor regularly
- The ability to speak English (We have many tutors who are not native English speakers, but their English is strong enough to function in everyday life.)
- Interest in language, communication and the process of learning
- Openness to meeting people from different cultures
- Patience, compassion and reliability
3 Ways to Volunteer as a Tutor
1. Individualized Tutoring
In the Individualized Tutoring program you will be matched with a student who can meet at a time and a place that works for you. Our tutoring pairs usually start at the libraries in Aspen or Basalt, our office in El Jebel or another public location. As the tutoring pairs get to know each other they will meet in other locations. Since the emergence of COVID-19, many of our tutoring pairs have transitioned to online and socially distanced classes.
The initial commitment is for an hour a week for six months, though most pairs meet for longer. While some tutoring pairs focus on structured English lessons, other pairs will focus on conversation or doing activities together. Tutors are expected to be “mentors” and not formal teachers.
2. Small Group Tutoring
English In Action’s small group tutoring program was introduced in 2015. Tutors work with “groups” of 3-9 students once or twice a week for 10 week sessions. Each class is 1.5 hours long. The program offers a structured and practical learning opportunity for people on our waiting list and other community members. Classes are currently taking place via Zoom Monday and Wednesday evenings, but can take place at different times, depending on enrollment. If you would like to lead a session, please contact us at (970) 963-9200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Open Hours
If you don’t have time to volunteer weekly, Open Hours may be a good option for you. Open Hours is an informal drop-in class, which currently takes place via Zoom every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. As a volunteer tutor you can sign up for the Thursdays that work best for you. We ask you to commit to at least eight sessions. While some tutors will come one or two times a month, others will come every Thursday for a few months.
Open Hours tutors are matched with a small group of one to four individuals, depending on the number of students who come each evening. Sessions may focus on informal conversation, reading, or doing activities and games that are intended to encourage students to learn English. Often students come with questions about topics they want to learn about.
Open Hours is a lot fun and a great way to meet a variety of wonderful students who are eager to practice and learn English. We will provide you with a personalized orientation to this program. Call our office at (970) 963-9200 or email us if you are interested.
If you are interested in volunteering for English In Action, but you don’t want to be a tutor, contact our office. You may be able to volunteer at an event or in our office.