15 November 2010

English Skills Learning Center

Meeting Date: 8/9/10

You can also visit English Skills Learning Center on The Exchange, the Thayne Center’s online community partner database. You’ll find contact information, projects, directions to the site, and other useful information to get you started!


Education, Communication, Foreign Language


The ESLC has been in Salt Lake since 1988, and it focuses on the adult population of refugees and immigrants.

The ESLC provides individualized English instruction to adult refugees and immigrants. The students speak little or no English, and often are not literate in any language. We train and supervise volunteer tutors who then teach our students twice a week. Instruction is provided at times and locations that are convenient for both the tutor and the student.

The ESLC currently tutors students from 34 different countries. They are currently working with over 100 tutors to serve close to 300 students in the Salt Lake City area. Their approach focuses on helping their students become better integrated members of American society. They have operated continuously since 1988, and provide the only free and individualized ESL tutoring program in Salt Lake County, Utah.


631 W North Temple # 70
Salt Lake City, 84116


Beth Garstka is the Volunteer Coordinator at the English Skills Learning Center (ESLC) on August 9, 2010. Beth is a University of Oregon grad with a degree in Humanities and East Asian Studies. She’s been involved with English As A second Language (ESL) programs since 2001, and has taught ESL in Japan and Portland, Oregon.

Beth Garstka


A background check and 12 hour training are necessary, since teaching people English does take certain, acquired skills. The trainings are comprised of four, three hour sessions. Because the trainings are intense and valuable skills must be learned, the total cost to become a volunteer (including a background check) is $50. However, the experience and skills acquired are well worth the expense!


Background check, 12 hour training.


The ESLC asks that their volunteers work with their student twice a week for an hour each for at least sixty hours (about six months). It is important to commit this amount of time so that the student can learn to his/her best ability.


Volunteers are the vehicle through which the organization delivers their service and they are the ESLC’s most valuable asset. Simply put – their volunteers are the heart of their agency.

After the trainings, the volunteer is paired up with a student that both the student and volunteer are comfortable with. After, the tutoring times are very flexible. You can plan when you will tutor so that your schedule and the student’s schedule matches. This means days, nights, weekends!

Volunteers will teach the student how to read and write English, and even hold a pencil.
During the trainings, tutors are educated in who they will be teaching, what’s expected of them, and what sort of teaching strategies they can use. Volunteers will also be asked to fill out monthly tutoring reports.

Start volunteering today! You can visit their website and also check out their information in The Exchange.

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