Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for volunteer tutors working in the CRESL program?

We ask that you spend a minimum of two hours of actual contact time per week, for at least four months. Most volunteers stay with the program much longer. Spending any less time with the students provides little benefit and can be more disruptive than helpful.

What kind of training will I receive?

Volunteers receive two hours of orientation, as well as ongoing direction from the teachers and volunteer coordinator.

Technical assistance is available through the volunteer coordinator. Quarterly inservice meetings are open to all CRESL volunteers and provide instruction on a variety of topics. 

I want to help at the Emily Griffith location but I haven't taught before. Will I be teaching a class on my own?

No. You will be assisting in a classroom. All instruction is conducted by highly trained, credentialed professional instructors--some of the best in the state. Volunteers assist in the classroom under the direction and supervision of the teacher. Volunteers may help individual students who need assistance with a particular lesson or activity, or they will be part of broader classroom interactions. It depends on what the instructor needs help with and has planned for the day.

Do you have volunteer opportunities in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Longmont, Greeley, or Fort Collins?

No. We only work in the Denver metro area. Lutheran Family Services handles refugee resettlement in Colorado Springs. Contact the LFS office to find out which volunteer opportunities are currently available in that area. ONE Morgan County offers ESL instruction to refugees and immigrants in Fort Morgan. In Greeley, contact Right to Read or the Global Refugee Center for information about volunteering in Weld County.

I am finishing up a TEFL certification course and I need to volunteer, observe classes for 20 hours, or participate in a practicum in order to complete my program. Can you help me with this?

No. If you still wish to contribute your time to assist our teachers and students, you are welcome to do so, but we will not be able to complete any course-related documents, assessments, or endorsements on your behalf. At the end of the four-month commitment, we can provide a letter stating only how many hours you volunteered with us during that time period.

Do I need to speak a second language to volunteer in the CRESL program?

No, you don't. All instruction is given in English. You may, however, find it helpful to have studied a second language, as this can provide you with valuable insights into the language acquisition process.

Can I be assigned to work with students who speak my second language so I can practice my skills?

This is a possibility, but you are encouraged to use English with your students as much as possible. Foreign language exchange should be arranged as a separate lesson outside of your regular tutoring time.

What happens if I don't like my volunteer assignment?

Speak with the volunteer coordinator. Your services are greatly needed in the CRESL program, and we want you to enjoy the time you spend with our students. We will work with you to find a situation that provides a good fit.

How do students come into the Colorado Refugee ESL Program?

Students are referred into the program by their case manager at the resettlement agency.  In some cases, students learn about the program from friends and then self-refer.

I travel on business and may take a vacation during my four-month commitment.  What happens if I can't make it to school or a lesson during my scheduled time?

Of course we understand that our volunteers are busy people. If you must be absent from your assignment, please make sure the in-home student and the volunteer coordinator are aware of the change.

How can I get hired into a paid position in this program?

If you are interested in employment in the ESL program at Emily Griffith Technical College, check the job postings on the Denver Public Schools website. There is sometimes a need for qualified, experienced, credentialed substitute teachers and part-time/hourly evening teachers. Follow this link for a list of current openings.