Free ESL Classes for South Orange County, CA

Teaching English as a Volunteer with South Coast Literacy Council

We welcome volunteers! We welcome your help at one of the existing tutoring centers; see the “Locations” page. We will provide the necessary training.

If you would like to be a tutor, please begin by completing the Tutor Registration Form. Follow the instructions on the form.

If you have questions about volunteering, contact South Coast Literacy Council by sending an email to

Tutor Training

Tutor training for South Coast Literacy Council consists of short segments of online training followed by a relevant question for each part.  Continuing training is provided at workshops conducted by the council. You are also expected to observe tutors in one or more centers.  Before beginning the online training, contact Joan Nadeau, Vice President-Tutor Training, at 714-352-6996, or at Joan will give you the password for the training.

Documents you may download in connection with the online training are listed below. There are many excellent resources for your use as a tutor:

Other Resources for Teachers

  • These are short teaching and reference documents created especially for South Coast Literacy Council to explain key grammar concepts simply and clearly:
    • "Verb Pictures" uses unique time diagrams to explain the major English verb tenses.
    • "Articles In English" Explains when articles ("a, an, the") or other words such as pronouns are required before nouns, and explains when to use "a," "an," or "the."
    • "Feelings" addresses a recurring problem ESL students have by showing how words describing feelings (such as "excited") are different from descriptions of things that cause feelings (such as "exciting"). It contains many helpful examples.
    • "Infinitives" Explains how infinitives can be used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs, and explains the seven special infinitives that do not begin with "to."
    • "Clauses and Phrases" Explains the meanings of "clause" and "phrase," and shows the different types of clauses and phrases.
    • "Conditional Sentences" Explains and gives examples of the types of verbs used in the four different situations where conditional sentences ("If" ...) occur.
    • "Expressions" Explains the meanings of the terms idiom, irony, metaphor, simile, and slang.
    • "Identifying and Pronouncing Syllables" Understanding rules for dividing words into syllables is essential for teaching students to read out loud and pronounce new words.
    • "Three Ways to Pronounce 'ED' at the End of Words" Explains whether "ED" is pronounced like "ID", "T", or "D" based on the letters it follows.
  • [New] The large EnglishClub website provides extensive resources for ESL teachers as well as many kinds of lessons for learners.
  • As part of your tutor training, we encourage you to purchase the book "Teaching Adults, An ESL Resource Book," published by New Readers Press (ISBN 978-1-56420-344-1). You may order this book from us at the discounted price of $15.
  • This "Ultimate Word Games Guide" is a collection of many web pages with word games for ESL teaching, including this Games & Activities page with suggestions that other ESL teachers have found useful in their classrooms.
  • The ESL Authority website has 58 free ESL Worksheets in areas such as Reading, Grammar, and Prepositions that you can use directly or use as inspiration for making your own additional worksheets.
  • Accredited Schools Online has excellent ESL background information and extensive resources with links for teachers and students.
  • The ProLiteracy Education Network offers a variety of resources for ESL tutors including online courses for instructions that you can watch, but you must first create a free online account.
  • The website is very helpful for explaining grammar and punctuation, with examples you can use for teaching.
  • PhraseMix is an easy, quick, and helpful website for learners who want to speak more natural English. It provides one new useful real-world English phrase or expression every day. You can teach a few of these to your students each week.
  • You can download the 116-page book "Making It Real," a teaching guide developed by the Tacoma Community House Training Project, funded by the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Section of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. The book describes effective practices for teaching preliterate adult refugees, with techniques and activities that support these practices. Major sections of the book include:
    • Teaching Speaking and Listening Skills
    • Teaching Reading and Writing
    • Managing a Multi-Level Literacy Class
    • ESL Resources
  • The EL Civics for ESL Students website provides a variety of government and history lessons for ESL students -- easy ways to learn about American history, geography, and culture
    • Holiday Lessons is a good resource for teaching students about U.S. holidays
    • Free ESL Worksheets has printable materials you can use directly, such as read-aloud worksheets and short stories
    • ESL Book of Short Stories: easily reproducible worksheets designed for beginning-level adults who are learning English, with subjects that include communities, civics and government, employment, families, feelings, finances, health, nutrition, recreation, and travel.
  • Dave's ESL Cafe: a meeting place for ESL and EFL teachers and students from around the world.
  • Lanternfish provides printable teaching resources such as worksheets and flashcards for language arts, TESOL, TEFL, and ESL.
  • ESL Galaxy offers over 2368 free printable worksheets for ESL lesson plans and ESL activities.
  • Linguistic Funland: the many links on this page cover a wide range of activities for ESL students, such as international e-mail discussion lists and online tests.
  • "500 Tips for TESOL" (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), a book by Sue Wharton and Phil Race. The same webpage also shows other related books about this topic.