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For Tutors




Bridges ESL meets every Saturday to provide free ESL lessons for immigrants and visiting internationals in New Haven who want to improve their written and spoken English. Through our one-on-one tutoring sessions, these individuals will acquire the English proficiency, communication skills, and confidence needed to pursue employment, obtain education/ citizenship, and to convey their ideas effectively on a day-to-day basis.

Tutors commit to creating individualized lesson plans and teaching class every Saturday morning from 10 am -12 pm, excluding holiday breaks. We can excuse a few absences for important reasons, but we like to encourage continuous relationships between tutors and students. Each student takes a placement test their first day, and they are matched to our tutors depending on what level they’d like to teach (survival is for people with barely any English experience, beginner for focus on basic vocabulary, grammar, and scripts, intermediate for developing more complex grammar and vocab skills, conversational skills, listening, and advanced/conversational).


Lesson Plans

Every week, we draft lesson plans individualized for our student(s). Usually each tutor works with 1-3 students, although ideally we’d like to achieve 1:1 pairings. Although we don’t have formal lesson plan requirements, we require that you come prepared with a concrete plan for the twohour lesson so that you don’t waste any time, and that you spend time on the following: vocabulary, grammar, listening, and/or conversational skills (time distribution can vary, depending on what each student wants to focus on).

We realize that each student’s needs are very different, and it’s better for you to get to know your student and determine a good lesson plan fit for him/her. Frequently the student may request that you cover specific topics – going to the doctor or the bank, ordering at a restaurant, preparing for the TOEFL or GRE, reading journal articles, etc. We will print your lesson plans for you, if you email them for us before Thursday at midnight so that you’ll have it for Saturday. If you prefer to bring copies yourself, you can just bring your materials on Saturday.

Some suggestions:

  1. It is better to be over prepared for your first lesson! Always prepare more material than you can cover in 2 hours.
  2. Use the first 15-30 minutes of the lesson to get to know your student, why they are taking English classes, what they would like to learn and accomplish this semester, etc.
  3. A good dialogue is invaluable. Students need to see how a word is used in a sentence in context, so encourage discussion and conversation during the lesson.
  4. We have a resources closet in the AACC available for all tutors – email us before Saturday or find us after lessons to show you around. You’re more than welcome to check out workbooks from this library.
  5. Contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. We are more than happy to meet with you one-on-one to go over your first lesson plan.
  6. Be creative with your lessons! Our students generally have very interesting stories and opinions, so feel free to incorporate their interests (along with their needs) in your classes.
  7. We may take a field trip to the Yale Art Gallery at some point, and also will begin collecting student essays for our anthology later in this semester. If you are interested in coordinating group conversations/discussions, we’d love your input as well.

Links and Resources:

Click HERE for the Bridges ESL Library Catalog!!!

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