Starting an ESL School

Reaching the World at Our Doorstep

How To Start an English as a Second Language (ESL) School

See the Need

Two students in ESL ClassIf your community is like most of the communities in North America, then the ethnic composition of your city or town is rapidly changing. You are seeing a variety of ethnic faces and hearing a multitude of languages other than English.

God has brought the World to our doorstep. What marvelous news for His Church! Through the ethnic diversity of America, God has made it even easier for us to obey the Great Commission of “making disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28)

How can we, the people of God, show His love to and share His Gospel with these new neighbors? An effective way is to offer them free English classes.

Get your Church Leadership on Board
Go to the appropriate leadership (i.e. Senior Pastor, Session, Mission Pastor, Mission Committee, Outreach Pastor) and share your vision of starting an ESL School in your church.

Assure them that you will “do your homework” before moving forward. This would be a good time to contact the MNA ESL Director for guidance.

Create a Prayer Base
Without prayer as the foundation, your ESL School will flounder. If your church has a regular prayer group, start asking them to pray ESL Classregularly for the creation of an ESL School in your church. Start e-mailing your friends on a regular basis with specific prayer requests regarding starting this ministry.

When we rely upon organization – we get what organization can do;

When we rely upon education – we get what education can do;

When we rely upon eloquence – we get what eloquence can do.

And so on.

But when we rely upon prayer –

We get what God can do.

~ Dr A. C. Dixon

Recruit Volunteers

Students take notes at ESL Class

to recruit a minimum of seven people to get started. This will give you a Director and six teachers that could staff three classes (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced fluency level classes – two teachers per class). The more volunteers, the more classes you can offer.

Volunteers need two basic qualifications.

1. Love Jesus

2. Speak English

They do not need to be professional teachers and they do not need to speak a foreign language (all of your classes will be Eng

lish immersion). The ESL Teacher training will teach them everything they need to know.

In addition to teachers, it is helpful to have volunteers who will be classroom helpers, snack providers, childcare workers, etc.

Train the Volunteers
All of the volunteers you have recruited need to take a basic ESL Teacher Training Course (including the person who will be your Director).

MNA ESL has ESL Trainers who can come to your church. The host church is expected to cover the trWomen at ESL Classaveling expenses of the Trainer and provide a $300 honorarium. In addition, each participant will need a training manual ($25). For specifics on training, please ask for the ESL Training Instructions from the MNA ESL Ministries Director (

Sometimes you can send your volunteers to a training being offered at another church for $50 or less per person.

Trainings are 12 hours long and are usually done on a Friday night and all day Saturday format.

Printable version of this page: How to Start an ESL School Brochure

Instructions for Scheduling an ESL Training

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