Every week, the English as a Second Language (ESL) Club visits the Adult Basic Education Center in Fairbault to assist in English classes. The adult language learners come from predominantly East African or Hispanic backgrounds. St. Olaf students work in small groups on reading and writing assignments. One of the most enjoyable parts of this club is conversing with the language learners. They are such a nice group of students and enjoy sharing their backgrounds with St. Olaf students while asking about our own lives. It is a true cultural exchange.

Participants in this club come from varied disciplines. It is not necessary to be an education major or have prior tutoring experience. The classroom environment is very relaxed and St. Olaf students learn how to be effective tutors as they go. There are typically three different classrooms based on language level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. St. Olaf students can choose to work in any classroom in which they feel the most comfortable and often try out all three classrooms to find the best fit. We encourage students to come as often as possible! We drive to Fairbault together on Wednesday evenings, leaving Buntrock at 6:30pm and returning at 8:30pm.

If you are interested in getting involved, contact program directors Mary Kraemer (kraemer@stolaf.edu) and Jeremiah Gatlin (gatlin@stolaf.edu). We would love to have more volunteers as we begin spring semester!