Texas Tech University

Linguistics - ESL Internship

Students at Texas Tech can earn credit for their tutoring activities with the ESL/Literacy Service-Learning Initiative. This is a great way to experience diversity, work on your communication and team-building skills, develop a teaching style, and give something back to our local community. Service-learning, where students combine community service with traditional classroom approaches, offers a setting where practice meets theory and where students engage in experiential learning. Our innovative program has offered free adult ESL classes in the community since January 2006. Our tutors have gone on to graduate school in linguistics, law school, and teaching, as well as entering other professions. Students who have worked in this program have also earned multiple awards from a variety of organizations at the university. This project offers a chance at working with an excellent group of fellow tutors and a highly committed group of English language learners, and it may be your most rewarding experience at Texas Tech, as some of our previous students have said.

ENGL 4371 Language and Community: Combines community service (tutoring language and literacy) with theory (readings and discussions on linguistics, language, race/ethnicity). Typically, students meet with the instructor twice weekly, tutor twice weekly, keep a weekly journal, do reflective writing before and after tutoring starts/ends, complete midsemester and final evauations for peers, and do a final project.

Students who have earned credit for ENGL 4371 may consider taking ENGL 4300 with a specialized syllabus tailored to tutors with previous expertise. Readings vary from ENGL 4371, although students will have to do a final written project.

Graduate students who wish to formalize their experiences may do so with an internship course, ENGL 5378. We typically try to pair this with the head tutor assignments so that graduate students can develop their teaching and mentoring by working with and supervising the undergraduate students at their site.


All students who are involved in this project (whether for credit or as volunteers) have certain requirements they must meet:

  • Orientation session before tutoring starts (usually the Friday of the second week of classes, during the week started off by either Labor Day or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
  • Tutoring twice weekly, approximately four hours, for the remainder of the semester up to the last day of classes (thirteen weeks of tutoring; we do not tutor on university holidays)
  • Maintain attendance and preparation for tutoring, missing no more than two ESL classes
  • Attend our end of semester banquet, on the "dead day" (no classes or exams) of long semesters (recommended not required)

ESL Classes

We have a total of five classes where students can tutor. The first three are run entirely by Texas Tech students, usually with a graduate student as the head tutor. The last two are run by Literacy Lubbock teachers. We need tutors for all sites, but most tutors are assigned to the first three classes:

  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Activities Center (3107 Erskine St., across from the church), on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4 pm - 5:30 pm
  • O.L. Slaton Middle School (in the library; 1602 32nd St., at the intersetion of Avenue Q and 32nd St.), on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Ramirez Charter School (702 Avenue T), on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6 pm - 7:30 pm
  • Patterson Library Branch (1836 Parkway Dr.), on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 am - 1 pm.
  • Patterson Library Branch (1836 Parkway Dr.), on Mondays and Tuesdays, 6 pm - 7:30 pm