English in Action

English In Action (EIA) is part of a nationwide volunteer program sponsored by the Berkeley YWCA in which volunteers meet with UC Berkeley students, visiting scholars and their partners, students from adult school and local community colleges, as well as community members, who seek to improve competency in the English language. We pair up English speakers with partners to provide an opportunity for immersion conversational practice; there is no formal English instruction or tutoring — just casual conversation.

Volunteers meet with their international partners at least one hour each week to practice English conversation on a one-to-one basis or sometimes in a small group. Meetings are held at mutually convenient times and place, usually around campus. Volunteers and partners can also decide to meet virtually.

Both volunteers and international partners benefit from EIA! Both volunteers and international partners alike build long-lasting friendships based on mutual respect and learning.

For International Partners:

  • Practice and improve your proficiency in the English language
  • Learn about American culture and the American way of life
  • Meet new people

For volunteers:

  • Help international visitors and their families improve their English conversational skills and understanding of American life
  • Enjoy the fulfillment that comes from providing someone with an invaluable skill
  • Learn about another culture

What you should expect in this program:

  • Partners:
    • Any International Partner must pay to enroll in our EIA Program, which is a $30 annual fee. This money goes to the YWCA, which supports the administrative costs of the English In Action program.
    • After signing up, partners will receive an email directing them to pay for the $30 annual fee and to sign up for a 10-min orientation with the EIA Team.
    • Once we find a match, partners will receive an email with their volunteer’s information.
  • Volunteers:
    • Volunteers are not required to pay the program fee.
    • Once we find a match, volunteers will receive an email with their partner’s information.
  • Both partners and volunteers:
    • Partner and Volunteer meet at least once a week, for one hour.
    • The time and place (or online meetings) can be whatever works best for your schedule.
    • If you are unable to meet at any given week, please call or email your partner/volunteer in advance.
  • Please notify partner/volunteer and the English In Action (EIA) office of any change of address or contact information.
  • Tell your friends! If you know someone who may benefit, or wants to volunteer, pass on this program info.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact us during our office hours.

Regular EIA Office Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9AM-2PM

EIA Email: eia@ywca-berkeley.org

EIA Phone Number: (510) 859-3213

To make a zoom appointment to speak with the EIA team during open hours, please signup here: https://bit.ly/eia-zoom