The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program teaches oral English, reading, and writing to adults who have immigrated to the U.S. from around the world. ESOL is the largest program at Literacy Together, serving approximately 250 students annually. Our students’ most common goals in learning English are to improve their employment prospects, help their children in school, and pass the U.S. Naturalization exam.
Each student works with a trained volunteer tutor, either individually or in a small group of up to ten people. Tutoring takes place for two hours once each week at times and locations that are mutually convenient for students and tutors.
Many ESOL students are proud of their adopted country. They delight in every language achievement that takes them closer to fully participating in civic, religious, educational, and neighborhood programs. In the words of a couple who immigrated to Asheville from China:
“Ever since we came to Asheville, we fell in love with this place. The people are so enthusiastic, friendly, and sincere. They love the motherland and everyone is working hard. Thanks to Literacy Together (formerly the Literacy Council) for our teacher, Nancy. She taught very seriously and patiently. Because of the teacher’s help, we can understand some normal English now, can speak simple dialogue, and learned more about the history of the United States. We wish to achieve the desire [to become citizens of the United States] and vote in the next elections!”
ESOL students with a short-term goal of becoming United States citizens may choose to receive citizenship-specific tutoring and learning materials in the ESOL program. This curriculum focuses on U.S. history and civics, as well as the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and civic participation. One hundred percent of students who received citizenship tutoring from Literacy Together and took the U.S. Naturalization Exam have passed it.
Tutors use materials suited to each student’s English level, educational background, and learning goals. While all ESOL students come to us to learn the English language, they vary greatly in their literacy levels in their native language. Our personalized attention to each student’s unique needs means that we can help across all literacy levels. All instructional materials are research-based and evidence-driven. Tutors often help students practice new language skills in their day-to-day lives.
Becoming a Volunteer Tutor
Referring a Student
Literacy Together maintains a waiting list for ESOL students. Click here to learn more and contact Erin at [email protected] or 828-254-3442 x201 to refer an adult in need of English language tutoring.