English In Action is committed to keeping our staff, participants, and community safe while still providing quality support to our tutors and students. To learn more about our COVID-19 response, click HERE.
One-on-one tutoring is the heart and soul of English In Action. Adults who want to improve their English skills are matched with volunteer tutors. Due to COVID-19, we are currently connecting new tutoring pairs for in-person meetings if both student and tutor are fully vaccinated, for virtual classes if not. The pairs meet for approximately an hour a week. While the initial commitment is for six months, we have pairs who have been together for more than 10 years. Learning English is the starting point for these tutoring relationships, but many of our pairs develop strong friendships. Tutoring is not only an opportunity to learn about language, it is also an opportunity for both the tutor and the student to learn about each other’s culture. English In Action’s staff support our tutoring pairs in having a successful experience and provide resources and materials for learning English.
Open Hours was created to give students on our waiting list a way start learning English right away. Open Hours is a casual drop-in class, currently offered on Zoom every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Students and tutors form small groups and practice their English by having conversations, reading from books and newspapers, asking questions and playing games. Volunteer tutors in this program include both advanced students and native English speakers.
Small Group Tutoring
Small Group Tutoring, launched in 2015, offers students the opportunity to learn practical English skills in a small group setting. Volunteer tutors meet with groups of 3-9 students for 10 week sessions. Classes take place weekly for 1.5 hours and are typically located in El Jebel. Currently, we are offering some in-person classes and some virtual classes. We use the Confidence & Connections curriculum developed by Boulder-based, Intercambio: Uniting Communities. Lessons help to develop useful language for real world situations and focus on oral skills, as well as reading and writing.
Community Engagement Activities
English In Action believes that once students have learned more English, it is also important to help them find ways to use that English and to engage more fully with the community. Students and tutors in our programs are regularly offered opportunities to do a variety of activities, including snowshoeing on Aspen Mountain, attending Theatre Aspen performances and visiting the Aspen Art Museum. Each year we also hold a picnic for our students and tutors and a community fundraiser called the Fiesta de Tamales, which brings together community members from a wide variety of backgrounds in an authentic celebration of culture. We hope to bring the Fiesta back in 2022 after a pandemic hold. Students and tutors also participate in volunteer activities in the community, civic events and activities intended to create greater cross-cultural understanding. See our Full Calendar to learn more.
Digital Equity & Literacy
Launched in March 2021, this new program helps students attain basic digital literacy and develop essential skills for professional and personal success. With the guidance of English In Action’s new Digital Literacy Coach, participants learn computer basics - from using Word and other applications like Zoom to opening a web browser to applying for employment - through online and in-person workshops. After completing a course in computer basics, English In Action students receive a new laptop or tablet for an affordable voluntary donation. The program provides students with the foundation needed to build digital proficiency and succeed.
If you are outside our service area, we suggest contacting Intercambio Uniting Communities in Boulder, Colorado for national online opportunities. Learn more.