Internships - English Language Learner Intern

Arriving in the United States as a refugee or immigrant can be exciting, confusing, and overwhelming all at once. Upon arrival, refugee and immigrant children are quickly enrolled schools with English language learning programs where they receive specialized attention to help them with English acquisition.

With the transition to remote learning, due to COVID-19, parents across the US are feeling the pressure to homeschool their children. For refugee and immigrant parents with limited English skills and/or experience using the technology needed for distance learning, their children are in particular need of support. Catholic Charities has a partnership with a local Milwaukee Public School that has a sizeable ELL population.

Since early 2020, volunteers have been paired with students from ages 6 to 13 years old. Throughout this time, relationships have grown and we have seen an improvement in their English; however, volunteers have expressed interest in having more supportive materials to help them effectively guide their learners. 

The English Language Learner Intern will have the opportunity to create learner-focused materials and lessons that maximizes the student strengths and encourage them to find a love of learning! You will also be able to gain experience by work directly with volunteers and their learners. 


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Put together resources for volunteers
  • Create engaging, learner-focused lessons that work on English phonics, reading, writing, and speaking skills
  • Share Best Practices
  • Provide support for Volunteer Training
  • Opportunity to lead volunteer training workshop, if desired


Our Learners (in 2020)

  • Countries of Birth: Burma, Malaysia, Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia
  • Gender: Male and Female equally
  • Ages: 6-13 years old
  • Our learners each have different strengths and areas for growth.  Some may speak English, but not read or write or vice versa while others may not read in their first language or their language uses a different alphabet.


  • Pursuing a Masters in Education with an emphasis on English as a Second Language, Bilingual education, Curriculum Development, Linguistics or a related field

Time Requirements: 

  • 5-10 hours per week
  • 2 semester Commitment preferred
  • Flexible Scheduling

Skills/ Experience

  • Experience with children, teaching, and tutoring are strongly recommended.
  • Additional language skills or experience overseas are not required but are a plus
  • Ability to adapt materials provided and/or create lesson plans
  • Strong Interpersonal skills
  • Strong Verbal and Written Communication


Process and Training

  • Initial Phone Interview
  • Zoom Interview with Refugee Integration Specialist
  • Program Training
  • Volunteer Policies Online module (30 min) 
  • Virtual Meet Ups
  • Free Pro Literacy Membership

The Impact

While refugee and immigrant parents are passionate about their children’s education, many believe they cannot effectively help with their children with homework because they grew up in a different educational system and/or struggle with English themselves. It is helpful for refugee and immigrant youth to have additional adults in their life to talk, especially those with first-hand knowledge of navigating the U.S. school system or come from an immigrant background themselves.  With the support of the Refugee Integration Specialist and other interns, you will be able to support the volunteer program and provide volunteers with the knowledge to be a positive and supportive presence in the lives of refugee and immigrant families as well as an effective tutor.

All of our programs are free to our clients, and we couldn’t provide the level of service we do without the help of our wonderful volunteers and interns. We believe the connections our volunteers and interns make with their clients are mutually beneficial and make our communities stronger and more vibrant.


Schedule Summary

This activity generally occurs on

  • Monday - Morning, Afternoon
  • Tuesday - Morning, Afternoon
  • Wednesday - Morning, Afternoon
  • Thursday - Morning, Afternoon
  • Friday - Morning, Afternoon