Education Agents



University of St. Thomas

Literacy Initiative for Today - ESL
Houston, Texas USA



School Introduction

The University of St. Thomas (also referred to as UST or St. Thomas) in Houston, Texas, United States is a comprehensive Catholic university, grounded in the liberal arts. Founded by 1947 by Basilian Fathers, it serves as the only Catholic university in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

The University of St. Thomas is located in the Neartown area. The campus is north of Houston's Museum District and is adjacent to the famous Menil Collection and the Rothko Chapel. The campus is located within five miles of Uptown, Texas Medical Center, Downtown Houston's Theater District, and the Houston Zoo.

ESL Program Introduction

Literacy Initiative for Today (LIFT)
Literacy Initiative For Today was created in February of 1991 by concerned students and friends of the University of St. Thomas. These concerned individuals united their efforts with the aid of the University's Office of Volunteer Opportunities. The program began with three volunteer tutors and twenty learners. By mid-year, it grew to eleven volunteer tutors and over forty learners. The number of both volunteers and learners continues to increase each semester.

About the Program
Volunteer tutors come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from students to professionals who are dedicated to teaching and working with learners. Volunteer tutors and learners meet every Saturday for two 3 hour sessions of classroom instruction on the campus of the University of St. Thomas. It is one of the few English as a Second Language (ESL) programs available on weekends. During these sessions both tutor and learner benefit from the learning process. The tutor shares his/her knowledge while gaining insight about the learner's culture and experiences.
The University is easily accessible by Metro bus. Bus schedules are provided for anyone who needs information on routes. The University is located ten minutes from Downtown and near the Museum District.

Learner Requirements
The most important requirement is the desire to learn. If this basic requirement is met everything is made possible. Registration is held on designated days prior to the beginning of the program's semester.
The requirements to become a volunteer tutor are the ability to read and write English and the desire to teach these skills to another individual. Teaching experience is not necessary. Training is provided. Various teaching techniques are covered as well as lesson planning and the use of supplemental classroom materials. Veteran volunteer tutors are also available and more than happy to help new tutors with ideas and answer any questions. The volunteer tutors are asked to make a nine month commitment to the program and attend class on a regular basis. Speaking another language is not a prerequisite for volunteering. Learners often speak their own language with family and friends. It is the teacher's responsibility to speak and teach as much English as possible. This may be the only opportunity the learner has to use the English language.

As an Instructor
Have an impact on Literacy and Social Justice Issues
Gain leadership experience
Take part in tutor workshops and in-services
Sharpen personal English skills
Improve organizational skills
Make new friends
Learn about other cultures
As A Learner
Learn to communicate in English
Increase your social awareness
Receive instruction from trained teachers
Attend educational seminars
Be a part of an excellent learning environment
Make new friends
Learn about other cultures

Background Data

Schedule & Fees

Falll Session September 8, 2012 - December 5, 2012 (10 Weeks)
Spring Session January 2013 - May 2013 (10 Weeks)
Tuition - $25 plus the cost of the book

Special Courses & Features

Contact Info

Literacy Initiative for Today - ESL
University of St. Thomas
3909 Graustark
Houston, Texas 77006