Habla is a student group at Stanford where students teach English as a Second Language to the custodial staff and other members of the Stanford community. I served as a tutor for two years, a member of the organizational team that runs the program for one year, and as President for one year. As President, I managed a team of thirteen students who ran the program, and I oversaw over forty additional tutors.
For years, Habla had used grammar work books to teach English. However, the other tutors and I realized that this not the best way to teach English, especially when we only had limited time with the learners. So we worked with a Guadalupe Valdes, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, to redesign the program and focus lessons around real-world English. We developed a for-credit course that is now mandatory for new tutors. We taught tutors how to identify clear needs and develop personalized lesson plans that cater to each learners’ needs.
Under my leadership, we also began to offer satellite tutoring sessions for learners who could not come to a central location, which allowed us to expand the program to more learners. In addition, we began developing citizenship programs, know-your-rights workshops, and other initiatives to serve the custodial staff at Stanford University.