With the start of the new semester at Spoon River College comes the search for volunteer tutors in the college’s Adult Education office, specifically for the students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

“Volunteers are a vital part of student success, and the time commitment is minimal, less than two hours per week,” said Cyndi Johnston, program coordinator for Adult Education. “Most of our students can already read and write English at varying levels, but often struggle with actually speaking it. That impacts their ability to communicate in social and business situations.”

There are two classes most in need. The Rushville ESL meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon in a face-to-face class, and an evening online class using Google Meets is divided into three different levels that meet at three different times between 5-9:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights.

“For the online class, all one would have to do is click on an email link that will be provided, using either a computer or a smartphone,” Johnston said, adding that no special degree is required and that training would be provided to all tutors.

The English as a Second Language class is designed for adults 16 years or older whose native language is not English. The goal is to help students improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills to a higher level to ensure their success in the workplace and their communities, as well as for future course work.

“We also help students learn about the American culture, which can be confusing in itself for those from other countries,” Johnston said. “I’m always so grateful for our volunteers, and they make a world of difference in our students’ lives.”

For more information about being a volunteer tutor, contact Johnston at (309) 833-6038 or email cyndi.johnston@src.edu.  For more information about the Adult Education programs offered at Spoon River College locations, visit www.src.edu or call 309-647-4645.