Texas Tech University

Linguistics - The ESL/Literacy Service-Learning Initiative

The ESL/Literacy Service-Learning Initiative is a collaborative set of efforts between Texas Tech University and Literacy Lubbock, a local United Way agency that provides ESL and adult literacy classes. Through this innovative partnership, Texas Tech students serve as tutors and head tutors in existing Literacy Lubbock classes and in three classes taught exclusively by TTU tutors.

Undergraduate students may earn credit for tutoring by taking the service-learning class ENGL 4371 Language and Community. This class is an upper-division English course that can satisfy the requirement for 4000-level courses for many English majors and minors. In some cases, we may also be able to use ENGL 4371 as a contract class for Honors College credit. For graduate students, we offer ENGL 5378 as internship credit. Graduate students typically serve as head tutors for the TTU-run ESL classes, tutoring themselves, as well as mentoring the undergraduate tutors at their site.

Ms. Carol Keeney, Executive Director of Literacy Lubbock, notes that there is no "better way to impact the community than to give the gift of communication to our citizens who are in need of help. With twenty-five tutors working for four hours each week for thirteen weeks, the ESL Initiative is contributing 1,300 hours of instruction per semester without charge to the literacy students. Over the last calendar year [2006], TTU tutors have contributed approximately 3,400 hours of instruction to diverse adult ESL literacy students residing in the Lubbock community."

The Texas Tech offerings of ESL classes occur at three sites:

  • Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Activities Center (3107 Erskine St., across the street 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 intersection 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.

During the Spring 2008 semester, tutoring starts on January 28, 2008 and ends on April 29, 2008. We will hold a spring semester banquet on Wed., April 30. We will tutor in the summer at Our Lady of Grace and possibly another site. Tutoring will last during the first and second summer sessions, starting May 29 and ending August 6.

To register for these free ESL classes, just show up at the site when classes are ongoing or call Literacy Lubbock at (806) 775-3636.