Who We Are
Most of us have experienced the intense frustration of not being able to express ourselves adequately. For Roaring Fork Valley residents who speak little or no English this is a daily (and often debilitating) experience.
English In Action was founded 20 years ago to bridge the communication gap. Our mission is to strengthen the quality of life for everyone in our community by helping adults learn to read, write and speak English and by building cross-cultural relationships.
We do this through one-on-one tutoring, weekly drop-in classes and specialized workshops designed to help students overcome obstacles to learning English.
As a result of these programs, our adult students are better able to obtain jobs, get medical help when their children are sick, support their kids in school, more effectively manage their daily lives, and become more engaged members of our community.
While learning English is the foundation of our tutoring program, we are proud to report that our students and volunteer tutors often develop deep and enduring friendships. Breaking down cultural barriers is no small feat, but the benefits of nurturing a more integrated, harmonious community––one in which everyone has a voice––are immeasurable.
What We Do at English in Action
One-on-one tutoring is the heart and soul of English In Action. Adults who want to improve their English skills are matched with volunteer tutors. The pairs meet for approximately an hour a week. While the initial commitment is for six months, we have pairs who have been together for nearly 10 years. Learning English is the starting point for these tutoring relationships, but many of our pairs develop strong friendships. Tutoring is not only an opportunity to learn about language, it is also an opportunity for both the tutor and the student to learn about each other’s culture. English In Action’s staff support our tutoring pairs in having a successful experience and provide resources and materials for learning English.
Open Hours was created to give students on our waiting list a way start learning English right away. It is the brainchild of a group of English In Action’s advanced students who wanted to find a way to give back to the community and to help others in their quest to learn English. Open Hours is a casual drop-in class, offered every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at English In Action’s office in El Jebel. Students and tutors form small groups and practice their English by having conversations, reading from books and newspapers, asking questions and playing games. Volunteer tutors in this program include both advanced students and native English speakers.
How To Learn English Seminars
Learning to speak a new language is not easy. Many people don’t know the resources that are available to them or find that the methods they are using just don’t work. This seminar was created exclusively by English In Action to help our adult students determine how they learn best and to provide them with information on the resources that are available in this community and on the internet for learning English. Students learn about how to improve their memory and cultural and individual obstacles that may be inhibiting their ability to learn effectively. They leave the seminar with a personal plan for learning English. The seminar can be offered as a three-evening (7.5 hour) module or as a shorter three-hour workshop.
Leadership and Community Engagement Activities
English In Action believes that once students have learned more English, it is also important to help them find find ways to use that English and to engage more fully with the community. Students and tutors in our programs are regularly offered opportunities to do a variety of activities, including snowshoeing on Aspen Mountain, attending Theatre Aspen performances and visiting the Aspen Art Museum. Each year we also hold a picnic for our students and tutors and a community Fundraiser called the Fiesta de Tamales [link to events page], which brings together community members from a wide variety of backgrounds in an authentic celebration of culture. Students and tutors also participate in volunteer activities in the community and practice public speaking at a variety of events.
Customized Contract Programs
English In Action delivers customized programs for businesses and organizations that would like to support their employees or participants in learning English. These include internal tutoring programs, which match employees who speak English with those who want to improve their English and How to Learn English Seminars and workshops. In the past, we have delivered these services for The Little Nell, Alpine Valley Services and the Valley Settlement Project of the Manaus Fund.
|33 Gillespie Drive
El Jebel, CO