Tutor Information

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About the Program

The International Language Institute (ILI) of Massachusetts offers free classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages to adult immigrants of Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties. Funding for this program is provided by the MA Dept. of Ed. (paying for 70% of program costs), generous donations from area businesses and community members and an annual fundraiser in November. Class levels are beginner, low intermediate and high intermediate. Classes are held Monday and Wednesday evenings at ILI in Northampton.

Learners come from a wide variety of places around the world such as Brazil, Cambodia, China,
Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Japan, Korea,
Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Viet Nam. They
range from young adults to seniors and have diverse backgrounds and educational levels.

What is Expected of a Volunteer ESOL Tutor

Volunteers work with students on a one to one basis. Tutors supplement rather than substitute for classroom instruction. Language skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing are practiced. All tutoring is done in English so it is not necessary to speak another language. Often tutors act as mentors who provide assistance with daily survival skills and/or cultural adjustments.

Volunteers are required to make at least a 6 month commitment. We ask for a minimum of one session per week, usually an hour to an hour and half. The schedule and location are negotiated between the learner and tutor.

People who have an interest in becoming volunteer ESOL tutor at the International Language Institute should fill out the application form and return it to the Coordinator of Volunteer Tutors.

Volunteers need to attend the Tutor Training including 6 hours of classroom observation. You will need to make an appointment to observe a class. Classes meet Monday and Wednesday evening.

For more information contact Amy Ben Ezra: amy@ili.edu or (413) 586-7569 x100

Volunteer ESOL Tutor Job Description

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Tutor

Tutors work one on one with adult learners of English for Speakers of Other Languages to practice English and to make community contacts to help get established in a new environment (survival skills). The tutor program promotes intercultural understanding and cross cultural appreciation.

Time Commitment

  • A minimum of 6 months


  • Ability to speak, read, and write in English fluently
  • Cultural sensitivity and openness to different values/beliefs
  • Patience and willingness to provide encouragement


  • Attend 15 hour training including 3 consecutive workshops and 3 ESOL class observations taught at ILI (at least 6 hours)
  • Attend one in service follow up session 1-2 months later
  • Continue observing classes and assisting teachers after placement

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Make new friends
  • Gain teaching experience
  • Learn about other cultures
  • Contribute to your community
  • Make a positive difference in people’s lives