ESL Program for MIT Facilities Department Employees

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program for MIT Facilities Department Employees on campus helps employees who are not native English speakers improve their English communication skills and advance their careers.

Currently serving campus employees in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Facilities, the program provides the following:

  • Year-round ESL classes for all three working shifts at MIT.
  • Support services for employees seeking to gain U.S. citizenship.
  • Classes for job-specific licensing and certificate exams.
  • Classes and preparation for General Educational Development (GED) and Adult Diploma Program (ADP).

How the Program Works

The ESL program provides one hour of one-on-one tutoring twice a week during the day, evening, or night.

The goals of the program are to build students’ confidence, help them become more productive in their jobs, and perhaps open up further opportunities for advancement.

The students work the day, evening, and night shifts. Our students include native speakers of Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, and Tibetan. Student skills and levels vary. 

Classes/One-on-One Tutoring are offered to employees working the day, evening, and night shift. The majority have one-on-one tutoring, and receive one hour off from work twice a week to attend at the following times:

  • Day shift: Monday-Friday between 10 am – 3 pm
  • Evening shift:  between 4-7:00 pm
  • Night shift:  11 pm – 12 midnight

Now Seeking Volunteers

We're looking for employee volunteers who can tutor employees for one hour per week or to substitute. No experience is required, just a good command of English and an interest in helping individuals whose first language is not English.

The time commitment for a regular tutor is one hour-long class a week. Time spent preparing for class will vary.  Also, we have a list of substitutes and appreciate advance notice when you need to miss a session.

If you are a substitute, please consider visiting a class (or classes if possible) before being called to substitute. This is a good way to get to know the students you may potentially tutor.

Although we try to cover basic grammar, reading comprehension, writing, and speaking, these are not academic classes. No homework is expected nor required.  More important is building a relationship with the students to help them develop confidence in their English communication.

In addition to improving speaking, reading, and writing skills, classes may also prepare students for licensing exams related to their jobs, the US Citizenship test, GED and ADP.

MIT employees, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, MIT Women's League members, retirees and friends of MIT volunteer to teach in this growing service endeavor that richly rewards tutors as well as learners.

Resources are provided, though the teacher is encouraged to use any materials s/he finds appropriate. We have books and other teaching materials at various levels and can purchase books for students and teachers as needed. The program has an ESL wiki with an abundance of materials.

This is an opportunity to make a real and positive difference. Contact Nancy Kelly at or 781-296-7600. 

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