Clases de Ingles (English Language Classes)

Clases de Ingles (English Language Classes)

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is an all-volunteer program that provides English language instruction to adults (ages 18 and up) during three semesters each year: Fall, Spring and Summer. Language instruction is provided at Level 1 (Beginner) through Level 5 (Advanced) and classes are held at St. Matthew’s Education Center, 1726 N Street, NW.

Our mission is to educate students in English as a second language in order to help advance their life’s vocation. We teach English to immigrants so that they can better navigate the day-to-day challenges involved in employment, social life, family and immigration.

UPDATE:To maintain the health and safety of volunteers and students during this time of pandemic, the winter and spring semesters 2022 are canceled. Please continue to check the website for upcoming semesters.
AVISO: Para mantener la seguridad de los voluntarios y estudiantes durante este tiempo de pandemia, se cancelarán los semestres de invierno y primavera 2022. Continue a visitar esta página para avisos sobre los próximos semestres.

What We Do

During the fall and spring semesters we hold classes three nights a week (Tuesdays through Thursdays) for two hours (6:30pm to 8:30pm), with a 15 minute break to rest and socialize. During the summer semesters, classes are held on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We also organize periodic potluck meals and an end of semester banquet to celebrate the efforts of our students and volunteers, and to foster a sense of camaraderie among our program community. 

Students have told us:

“Teachers help us with all different parts of English: writing, reading, speaking, listening.  During class I can speak out to practice.  I don't feel embarrassed.”

“The program is a friendly community.  I have good friends here.” 

Teachers have said:

“To watch students progress throughout the semester, and to see them gain confidence and excitement about what they’ve learned, is incredibly fulfilling.”

“I feel that I learn more from the students – about their lives and cultures – than I teach them.” 

How You Can Help

Our volunteers serve as teachers, tutors and hospitality ministers.

Teachers are all volunteers, often professionals across various industries with little-to-no formal teaching experience.  Each class – both English and Spanish – is taught by two teachers who volunteer to teach one night a week.

Tutors come to the education center from 6pm to 6:30pm one night a week to offer one-on-one instruction, practice or support with difficult lessons.

Hospitality Ministers are critical to the ESL/SSL program's success.  They open up the building before students arrive, close the building after class and prepare snacks for the break.  They also generally maintain the programs supply inventory and serve the various needs of students and teachers to help the program continue to run smoothly. 

We are looking for volunteers to serve primarily as teachers, tutors and persons of hospitality one night per week  (Spring & Fall Semesters: Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Summer Semester: Tuesdays and Wednesdays) for the ESL Program. Please see below for more details. While volunteers are not required to have formal training in teaching English as a second language, we expect their native language to be English. If you are not comfortable teaching a class on your own, we can pair you with a more experienced teacher. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact You may also contact the Cathedral staff liaisons, Fr. John Benson and Norma Canedo at


Why We Do This

By teaching English and Spanish, we seek to serve the immigrant communities in Washington, DC – both by teaching English to immigrants and by teaching Spanish to native English speakers, who then serve immigrants in their various charitable endeavors.  People come to Washington, DC from all over the world for various calamities and opportunities in their lives, and we hope to encourage them by developing their capacity to speak, read, listen and write in English.    

We serve Christ by serving immigrants in Washington, DC
“Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?  And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25: 37-40) 

Verbal communication is an indispensable tool for discipleship in Christ:
“No foul language should come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for needed edification, that it may impart grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29) 

Spring Semester 2020

The 13-week Spring semester will run from February 11 to May 14. During this period, classes will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, with optional pre-class tutoring between 6:00pm and 6:30pm. Language instruction will be provided at Level 1 (Beginner) through Level 5 (Advanced). Students may register in person on Thursday, February 6 or Monday, February 10 between 6:30pm and 8:30 pm, at St. Matthew’s Education Center, 1726 N Street, NW. At registration, each student will be assessed to determine the appropriate class level in which he/she will be placed. Student registrations will be from 6:00pm to 7:30pm on all class days until classes are full. The cost of the 13-week semester is $45. For more information, please contact

End of Semester Celebration

On the last day of each semester, all the students and volunteers of the semester gather in one of the Cathedral’s large conference rooms to celebrate their achievements. During this “End of Semester Celebration”, each student is conferred an official “Certificate of Participation” to acknowledge their participation in the ESL Program. The celebration is a “potluck” event, where each student and volunteer is invited to bring a dish of food, desert, or beverage of their choice to share with their fellow classmates and volunteers. Family members and friends of the semester’s students and volunteers, as well as alumni of the ESL Program (i.e., former students and former volunteers) are welcome to join us for this celebration.

 Volunteers Needed for ESL Program – Teachers, Tutors & Persons of Hospitality 

We are looking for volunteers to serve primarily as teachers, tutors, and persons of hospitality one night per week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) in the Fall semester of the ESL Program. Please see above for more details. While volunteers are not required to have formal training in teaching English as a second language, we expect their native language to be English. If you are not comfortable teaching a class on your own, we can pair you with a more experienced teacher. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact 
Important: All volunteers (new and returning) will be required to attend the pre-semester “Preparation, Planning, and Orientation” meeting on Wednesday, February 5 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the Education Center. Volunteers must first speak with coordinators to confirm.

Programa de Inglés como Segundo Idioma 

El Programa de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL, por sus siglas en inglés) es un programa de voluntariado que proporciona enseñanza del idioma inglés para adultos (de 18 años de edad en adelante) durante tres semestres al año: Otoño, Primavera y Verano. Las clases de inglés se imparten desde el Nivel 1 (principiante) hasta el Nivel 5 (avanzado) en el St. Matthew’s Education Center (Centro de Educación de San Mateo), que está ubicado en 1726 N Street, NW.

Semestre de Primavera 2020

El semestre de Primavera, con una duración de 13 semanas, será del 11 de febrero al 14 de mayo. Durante este periodo las clases se llevarán a cabo los martes, miércoles y jueves  por la tarde de 6:30 a 8:30 de la noche, con tutoría opcional de 6:00 a 6:30 de la noche. Las clases de inglés serán impartidas desde el Nivel 1 (principiante) hasta el Nivel 5 (avanzado). Los estudiantes pueden inscribirse en persona el jueves, 6 de febrero y el lunes, 10 de febrero, de las 6:30 a 8:30 de la noche en el St. Matthew’s Education Center (Centro de Educación de San Mateo), 1726 N Street, NW. Durante la inscripción a cada estudiante se le hará un examen para determinar cuál es su nivel de clase más apropiado. Se aceptarán las inscripciones de estudiantes durante las noches que hay clases de 6:00 a 7:30 de la noche hasta que se llenen las clases. El costo del semestre, con duración de 13 semanas, es de $45. Para más información, por favor póngase en contacto con los coordinadores del Programa de ESL al

Festejos de Fin de Semestre  

En el último día de cada semestre todos los estudiantes y voluntarios se reúnen en uno de los salones de conferencias de la Catedral para festejar sus logros. Durante este “Festejo de Fin de Semestre” a cada estudiante se le entrega un “Certificado de Asistencia” oficial para reconocer su participación en el Programa ESL. El festejo se conoce como “potluck” donde a cada estudiante y voluntario se le invita a traer un platillo de comida, postre o bebida de su elección para compartirlo con sus compañeros de clase y voluntarios. Los familiares y amigos de los estudiantes y voluntarios del semestre, así como exalumnos y voluntarios del Programa ESL (es decir, antiguos estudiantes y voluntarios) son bienvenidos para asistir a este festejo