Next training program for ESOL tutors will begin in February

The program of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) of the Wayland Library continues to flourish in spite of the limitations due to the pandemic. Approximately 35 tutors are working with learners, some with as many as three individuals. These learners range from beginners, like the grandmother from Russia who must start by mastering our alphabet, to well-educated immigrants who want to pursue further studies or work in their previous professions.

Immigrants currently being tutored have come from 13 different countries. Our newest tutors, who are just getting started with their learners, are Lauren Alongi, Sue Robison and Steve McCarthy of Wayland, and Bob Lewis and Melissa Rowcotsky of Weston.

Most tutors are teaching remotely, using whatever technology works for both tutor and learner, be it Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or email and telephone. A few have found places where they feel safe together without masks.

The common denominator is the friendship, shared experience, sense of deep satisfaction and the rewards of the one-to-one tutoring experience. We can happily share some excerpts from recent tutor reports:

“We still meet over Zoom and that has worked very well for us. We are currently working with two books on English Conversation. My learner speaks very well, but unfortunately seems very shy about going out and speaking with neighbors or about town. We practice role plays to build her confidence. We have become very good friends. We also go for walks, often with her husband and sometimes with my husband too.”

“I have been meeting with my learner every Friday afternoon via Zoom, as she lives in Maynard and I am in Newton. She has enjoyed videos and articles. She just read her first book in English with me (Seedfolks) and was very excited!”

“When I met my learner she didn’t speak any English. Now she has found her voice and is blossoming. It is amazing to watch her connect with the world around her and experience success.”

There is always a need for tutors, and the next training course will start (virtually) in late February. The only cost for the training is the purchase of a book for about $40. If you are interested in the possibility of becoming a tutor you can contact Ginny Steel ( for more information.


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