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English Language Ambassadors

English Language Ambassadors

English Language Ambassadors (ELA)  seeks to connect with refugee men and women who have recently moved to Austin by teaching ESL in their homes. We desire to use teaching English as a way to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ and to build long term friendships with these men and women.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do the teachers meet in the apartments, rather than a church facility?

Accessibility. Many of the refugee men and women that we are meeting do not have cars. If there is not a community or church ESL program nearby, this helps solve a logistical need. Also, a classroom dynamic of one teacher to 15 to 20 students loses some personal interaction and conversational English that we are trying to provide for the people we serve.

Are we encouraged to build friendships with the students and families?

The very low student-to-teacher ratio allows for friendship to develop with students. This is of high value to ELA as we are desiring to love our neighbors as Jesus calls us to do.

Does ELA charge for these services?

Our refugee families are already adjusting to the increased cost of living in America. Providing English lessons, free of charge, is a way the church can demonstrate the love of Jesus.

Do I need to be background checked to serve with ELA?

Yes, ARBC will send you a link and run the background check.

What if I am not trained in teaching English?

ELA will onboard you with the concepts of our program through shadowing and co-teaching.

What if I don't have any cross-cultural experience?

ELA will provide you with an experienced co-teacher who will help you navigate and build a relationship with your student.

I am currently trained in various levels of ESL. Are there needs for students who could still use my abilities?

Yes, there is a vast range of students from beginner, moderate, and advanced.

What curriculum does ELA use?

ELA primarily uses the Oxford Picture Dictionary Literacy Program which includes teacher lesson plans as well as students worksheets, etc. ISBN numbers can be given upon request. These classes are primarily for beginner English students.

I’m interested in ELA, but not sure I want to teach English. Are there other ways to serve ELA?

Yes, we have partnered with Side by Side Kids for an afterschool tutoring program at Travis Heights Elementary ages Pre-K through 5th grade. If you're interested in learning more, click here.

How can I support ELA through prayer?

ELA recognizes the very important need for prayer and would love to invite you to prayer walk with us. Click here for information on prayer walking.

Have Questions?

  • Clark Richardson

    Clark Richardson

    Clark is a Waco native and a Dallas Baptist University graduate. His non-traditional college and career track within the landscape industry and fundraising/development unknowingly prepared him for such a time as this. Over a number of trips to Uganda, God opened his eyes to how he could use his gifts and talents both locally and globally for the Kingdom. That led him to put his “yes” on the table in 2016, and the rest is history. He married up when landing his beautiful wife, Natalie, in 2010, and they have two children, Graham and Isla. He is a jack of all trades and master of none. He enjoys being a dad of two and when there is time, hunting, sports, dabbling with smoking meat, and campfires.