English Forward Training Program


The Literacy Council’s English Forward Training Program introduces volunteer instructors in Berks County to effective ESL instruction through an 11-hour training. No prior teaching experience or second language knowledge is required. The Council provides the English Forward training and curriculum as well as follow-up support after the training.

Instructor Training

The English Forward Instructor Training is an 11-hour interactive and participatory workshop, usually held over two days. The training is led by Literacy Forward Master Trainers who were themselves trained by renowned experts in the field. The training focuses on teaching communicative language in the classroom, with the goal of having students learn language skills that can be immediately applied to negotiate daily life in an English-speaking environment.

Instructor Guide

Each participant receives the English Forward Instructor Guide. The Guide includes communicative teaching strategies and teaching tips for instructors as well as a lesson planning framework, which is covered extensively during the Instructor Training.  Instructors then have the Guide to use as a resource once they enter the classroom.


Each participant also receives a copy of the English Forward Curriculum. The English Forward Curriculum, designed for beginning-level adult ESL classrooms, covers the first 60-100 hours of instruction. With 40+ life skills-focused lessons, students are able to immediately apply what they’ve learned outside the classroom.

What you should know before registering

Attendance is required for all 11 hours of the training. If you are not able to attend the entire training, please do not register. There is normally a nominal $100 fee for the training for residents of Berks County ($200 for non-residents), which covers the cost of the materials for the training.  The Wyomissing Foundation and United Way of Berks County cover the balance of the cost.

After the training, if you are not already connected with an organization that offers ESL classes, you will work with the Volunteer Coordinator to be placed in an existing program as a volunteer instructor. We ask all training participants to commit to serving as a volunteer instructor for a minimum of 60 hours.

Thank you to the United Way of Berks County and the Wyomissing Foundation for assisting with the underwriting of $100.00 per person for Berks County residents toward the cost of the training.

If you have any questions, contact Taylor Mahoney, Volunteer Coordinator, at taylor@lcrb.org or 610.670.9960 Ext. 102.

Upcoming training session:

  • Thursday, November 30 and Friday, December 1 at the Literacy Council office, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. both days; lunch included.
  • Please contact Taylor Mahoney at taylor@lcrb.org or 610.670.9960 Ext. 102 for more information.

To register for an instructor training, visit this page.

The need for English as a Second Language classes is great.  In addition to providing the English Forward training, the Council seeks individuals who are willing to host classes in the neighborhoods of their organizations or churches. For information on hosting an English Forward class, please contact Taylor Mahoney at taylor@lcrb.org or 610.670.9960 Ext. 102.