The literacy program provides instruction to adults helping them improve their ability to communicate in English.
- Classes and tutoring sessions are held weekly either via Zoom or in person.
- We partner with the Literacy Council WILCO.
- Mission Statement: to improve the lives of adults by improving their literacy skills.
Adult Basic Education
The Adult Basic Education (ABE) branch of our literacy program focuses on helping students improve reading, writing, and sometimes math skills. Students must be conversant in English before entering this program.
The needs of the students vary. One may be illiterate needing to learn to read, another wants to get a GED, while yet another student may want to communicate better at work, at home, or in the community.
Our volunteer tutors work one-on-one with their student via Zoom or in person. Lessons are 1-2 hours long, once, or twice a week. The tutor and student schedule lessons themselves. Training for new tutors is provided. Materials are provided.
English As A Second Language (ESL) Classes
The ESL branch of our literacy program focuses on helping students improve their conversational English. These students seek both to understand native speakers and to be understood themselves. These skills help them communicate with health professionals, their children’s teachers, co-workers, and neighbors.
Classes are offered during the day and evening most weekdays. In-person classes occur at the church and the Leander Library. Zoom classes are also provided.
Students are also given the opportunity to improve their pronunciation by recording short passages (3-15 min.) from online books. Volunteers listen to these recordings and provide feedback on pronunciation.
The material used for ESL classes has the students talking most of the time. This gives the teacher plenty of opportunities to help them with their pronunciation.
Classes are divided into beginning and intermediate students. Students speak many different languages. If needed, Google translate is used to explain a difficult concept. Teachers DO NOT NEED TO KNOW the student’s language.
A typical class starts with students sharing a short English conversation they had during the week. The other students ask follow-up questions. Students love this part of the class; they get to know each other, offer support, and quickly become more confident speaking in English. They also love sharing a picture and telling the class about it. It can be something from their country, their family, or anything of interest to them.
Teachers and assistants are provided training and work with experienced teachers until they feel like they are ready to work on their own.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Helping with one of the 2-hour classes. We have in-person and Zoom classes during the day and evening.
- Creating PowerPoint presentations.
- Listening to students’ recordings and writing a short note identifying words that need pronunciation practice.
- Meeting once a week with one or more students via Zoom and listening to them read online books.
- Placing tabs on students’ notebooks.
- Xeroxing material.
For more information about volunteering, observing an ESL class, or more information about listening to student’s recordings contact Mary Hengstebeck (512-983-7009, firstname.lastname@example.org or click on QR code or fill out this interest form.