Richardson Adult Literacy Center


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions by potential volunteer ESL teachers.

Please note, the information below is applies to regular sessions of RALC classes. During the pandemic, all Teacher training and ESL class meetings have been shifted to an online format (Zoom).

The classes are each 2 hours long and held twice a week.

Our “ESL for Parents” program is a 10-week program (Fall semester: mid-Sept. – mid-Nov.; Spring semester: mid-Jan. – end of Mar.).
Our “ESL for Adults” program is a 15-week program (Fall semester: Sept. – mid-Dec.; Spring semester: Feb. – mid-May).
Volunteer ESL teachers are asked to commit to teaching one semester.

You can choose to teach one or two days a week.
If you choose once a week, you would teach the 2-hour class one day and your co-teacher would teach the 2-hour class the other day.
If you choose twice a week, you would teach both 2-hour classes each week, or 4 hours a week.

We offer daytime classes at participating RISD elementary schools and local public libraries beginning as early as 8:00 am and finishing by 3:00 pm.
We offer evening classes ONLY on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These classes are from 6:00-8:00 pm and are held at Richardson High School.

We have a conversation class on Saturdays in the spring and fall. Being a volunteer teacher for this class is an opportunity. You can teach each Saturday or every other Saturday. Spring classes are from February – mid-May and fall classes are from September – mid-December.

Yes, while it’s important that you’re available to teach a majority of the time, we also have a substitute list of volunteer ESL teachers who have taught in the past and are available to fill-in on occasion. Contact Sara Bramlett, RALC’s volunteer coordinator, to discuss your specific situation.

No, the majority of our teachers do not speak a language other than English. All classes are taught in English, so you don’t need other language skills to be an effective ESL teacher. Our students represent 25+ different languages so even if you speak a second language, your students may represent 3 or more languages.

Some of our best teachers come from backgrounds other than teaching. We will provide the training that you need to be effective. Coming prepared for class, engaging your students and showing kindness and consideration are the keys to being successful in this role.

Yes, RALC provides everything you need to teach and be successful, including teaching materials (teacher’s guide, workbook, pacing guide), classroom materials (CD player, class audio CDs, class supplies), a student roster and monthly attendance sheets.

As you begin the process, it may take a little longer, but the goal is that your preparation will be about 60 minutes per class.

Yes it is. Much of our information each semester is sent through email, so to participate you need a working email that you check regularly.

Teacher training workshops are held in in August and January each year. The August training is in preparation to teach in our fall semester, and January, in preparation for our spring semester. For specific dates and times, please visit our Volunteer Sign-Up page.

Yes, it is, but if you have dietary restrictions please plan to bring you own lunch.

We do have a self-paced option that requires a 1½ hour wrap up session in the RALC office. We encourage you to attend the teacher training workshop if possible.

Yes, you will have a Kick-Off meeting 1-3 weeks after the teacher training workshop. Here you will pick up your materials, meet your co-teachers and learn more teaching tools.

Absolutely! New volunteer ESL teachers are matched with a volunteer mentor who has significant, formal teaching experience. This person is there to support you throughout your teaching experience. Additionally, RALC holds teacher roundtables and sends out a monthly Teacher eNews, filled with reminders, information and additional teaching resources.

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