"Being with the students gives me that connection with the world that I also got when I traveled. And so I feel like I don't need to travel as much because I have my international understanding, learning, and opportunities right here in the classroom."
- Claire Kevill, WEC Volunteer
BECOME A VOLUNTEER!
Would you like to teach or tutor? Enjoy meeting people from other countries? Familiar with computers? Have other special skills you would like to share? Join Washington English Center's incredible team of volunteers to make a difference in someone else's life as well as your own. We offer both in-person and online volunteer opportunities.
Ready to be a teacher or tutor?
Not currently able to volunteer? Sign-up for our weekly newsletter!
Our newsletter is a great way to stay up-to-date about goings-on at WEC. You'll learn about current volunteer opportunities, upcoming teaching workshops, and social events. You'll also hear teacher and tutor tips and stories from the term. Sign up to receive the newsletter every Tuesday.
CURRENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES INCLUDE:
Volunteer Opportunities - click for more info:
The fall, winter, or spring volunteer commitment for both Online and In-Person ESOL Co-Teachers is 11 weeks, following our term schedule. Co-teachers teach with their partner once a week for two hours, and spend 30 minutes to one hour lesson planning. Our Spring 2024 ESOL group classes run from April 15th to June 27th, Monday-Thursday, and focus on communication, including speaking, listening, reading and writing.
The volunteer commitment for Online Tutors and Club Leaders is 11 weeks starting at any time. Online Conversation Tutors and Online Club Leaders hold one-hour sessions at the same time each week, plus spend a little time preparing between sessions. Online Writing Tutors spend the equivalent of one hour per week with their student, but mostly communicate asynchronously. Volunteers interested in additional hours are welcome to tutor more than one student, or lead more than one club.
English Literacy Education
Qualifications for Teachers and Tutors
Have the desire to work with volunteers and adult students from different cultural, educational, economic, and linguistic backgrounds! NO teaching experience necessary! This said, our teachers need to:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be willing to make an 11-week commitment (just 6 weeks for summer group conversation classes)
- Complete new volunteer pre-service training (live and recorded options, online, ~1 hour)
- Have regular access to email for important information distribution
- Be enthusiastic about working with adults from different cultural, educational, economic, and linguistic backgrounds
- Be proficient in English (some of our current and former students are teachers!)
- Be comfortable with technology or willing to learn
FOR ESOL CO-TEACHERS, OUR 11-WEEK SPRING TERM IS FROM APRIL 15th TO JUNE 27th, 2024.
Sign-up to co-teach once a week at the day and time that works best for you.
FALL, WINTER AND SPRING TERMS (11 WEEKS)
Mondays through Thursdays:
- Daytime online group ESOL classes: 10:00 AM ET to 12:00 PM ET
- Daytime in-person group ESOL classes: 10:30 AM ET to 12:30 PM ET
- Evening online group ESOL classes: 6:30 PM ET to 8:30 PM ET
- Evening in-person group ESOL classes: 7:00 PM ET to 9:00 PM ET
- Citizenship group classes (online only): 5:30 PM ET to 6:30 PM ET
SUMMER TERM (6 WEEKS)
Mondays through Wednesdays:
- Daytime online group ESOL classes are 10:00 AM ET to 12:00 PM ET
- Daytime in-Person group ESOL classes are 10:30 AM ET to 12:30 PM ET
- Evening online group ESOL classes are from 6:30 PM ET to 8:30 PM ET
TUTORS and CLUB Leaders can make aN 11-Session online commitment at any time.
Available Tutoring Hours:
Mondays through Fridays: 1:30PM ET to 2:30 PM ET OR 5:00 PM ET to 6:00 PM ET
Saturdays and Sundays: 12:30 PM ET to 1:30 PM ET
Club hours are flexible.
FY23-FY24 ACADEMIC CALENDAR
WEC observes all federal holidays. Our offices are also closed the Friday after Thanksgiving, and from 12/24 through 1/1. There are no classes the entire week of Thanksgiving, though staff are available Monday through Wednesday of that week.
Fall 2023 Term:
- First Day: Monday, September 25
- Last Day: Thursday, December 14
Winter 2024 Term:
- First Day: Tuesday, January 16
- Last Day: Thursday, March 28
Spring 2024 Term:
- First Day: Monday, April 15
- Last Day: Thursday, June 27
QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED BY VOLUNTEERS
What online platform does WEC use to deliver instruction?
All online group classes and most clubs are taught via Zoom, using WEC's Zoom accounts. Tutors may use any online platform.
Where is WEC located?
As of September 15, 2021, WEC is located at 401 9th St NW c100, Washington DC, 20004. All in-person classes take place at this location.
What online platform does WEC use to deliver instruction?
All online group classes and clubs are taught via Zoom, using WEC's Zoom accounts. Tutors may use any online platform.
Is teaching experience required?
No! All volunteers take our pre-service training to help prepare for teaching at WEC. We provide co-teachers with an e-textbook (online teachers) or hard copy textbook loan (in-person teachers), syllabus, and other resources. Tutors receive tutoring resources and supplemental instructional materials. We also offer additional training and ongoing support throughout your service.
English is not my native language. Can I still volunteer?
Yes! WEC values linguistic diversity and welcomes volunteers who have had to study English themselves. In fact, some of our current and former students are teachers!
Do I have to speak another language other than English?
No! All of our classes are taught in English. It is typical for there to be several different native languages represented in each class, so English is the common language.
I have a busy schedule, how often do I have to meet for classes?
Online tutors must be willing to make a 11-session commitment. Each session lasts one hour. You can begin your service at any time.
Online ESOL co-teachers commit to 11 weeks (Fall, Winter and Spring) or 6 weeks (Summer), for 2 hours a week in class, plus one hour outside of class spent on lesson planning. We offer classes year-round, so select a term and schedule that works for your schedule and one that you are sure you can commit to. For example:
Group Class Terms:
- Fall: Mid-September to early December
- Winter: Mid-January to late March
- Spring: Mid-April to late June
- Summer: Mid-July to late August
Group Class Schedules*:
- Weekdays Online: Monday through Thursday, 10 AM ET to 12 PM ET
- Weekdays In-Person: Monday through Thursday, 10:30 AM ET to 12:30 PM ET
- Evenings Online: Monday through Thursday, 6:30 PM ET to 8:30 PM ET
- Evenings In-Person: Monday through Thursday, 7:00 PM ET to 9:00 PM ET
*There are no Thursday classes or Citizenship classes during the summer term.
What are the requirements to be a volunteer?
All volunteers must:
- be 18 years of age or older
- make an 11 week commitment (6 weeks for summer group conversation classes)
- participate in volunteer training
- have regular access to email
- have the desire to work with adults from different cultural, educational and economic backgrounds
- be comfortable with technology or willing to learn
- speak English proficiently (many of our current and former students are teachers!)
How does WEC decide who gets to volunteer?
If you meet the above requirements, then we look forward to welcoming you as a volunteer in the future. Please note that some programs, in particular PM In-Person Co-Teaching, often have more volunteer interest than we can accommodate in a given term. In this case, volunteer placements are prioritized based on a range of factors including time of sign-up, availability and preferences indicated on the form, and WEC’s commitment to having volunteers from a range of backgrounds and experiences. The earlier you sign up, and the more options that you are open to, the more likely it is that we can find a spot for you. If you do end up waitlisted for a particular term, we will prioritize your placement for the following term. While waitlisted, you are still welcome to get involved by attending WEC’s training workshops or social events, or by joining our substitute teacher list or becoming a tutor.
Where are the teachers and students from?
All over the globe! Washington English Center takes pride in our multicultural learning atmosphere. We have students from over 100 different countries. We also accept volunteer teachers from around the world.