Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help?
There are two ways you can make a difference in the life of someone struggling to learn English. The most direct way is to volunteer to teach an individual or small group. We’ll provide all the training, materials, and support you will need. Volunteers are the most valuable asset we have. Without volunteers we would not be able to reach out to so many of our students who need English.
If volunteering is not possible for you because of other commitments, we’d appreciate financial help. In-kind and monetary donations of any size are always welcome and are put to good use recruiting, training and supporting volunteers. Please visit our “Donate” page to see our wish lists. We also always need help with other projects. Please contact us for more information.
How is the ESLC different than other ESL providers in the area?
A number of school districts and other non-profit organizations provide English classes for adult refugees and immigrants. For economic reasons, classes tend to be large, use a fixed curriculum, and be at fixed times. These three factors significantly reduce the learning effectiveness for many students. The ESL Center is the best and often only option for working adults and families.
Many of our students are in need of our services because they care for young children or sick relatives and cannot leave the home to attend classes. Others have transportation concerns. All have financial concerns. Our classes are free, and we bring our English instruction to the student. Our tutors and students meet in homes, libraries, community centers, churches, schools, and apartment complex clubhouses.
In addition, many of our students need individualized attention because of their lack of prior education and ability to read. In one-on-one matches, our volunteers work patiently with students at their own pace. We offer an extensive Volunteer Training so that our teachers are adept at tailoring their material and pace of instruction to the most critical needs of their students.
We are unique in Utah in providing such services.
How many immigrants and refugees are there in the area?
Census statistics indicate that during the last decade, every year an average of 1,100 refugees were resettled along the Wasatch Front and 10,000 other immigrants moved here. Without help, most will take many years to learn even basic English - some may never do so. Studies show that those who speak English earn on average 25% more than those who do not and that the children of those who learn English do much better in school.
How long does it take to learn English?
It takes most people several years to become fluent, but you will see continuous improvement during that time. The more practice they get, the faster they learn. We measure their English skills when they first join our program using a standardized test and again after each 60 hours of tutoring.