About Us

ESOL Associates of Rochester is an independent not-for-profit organization supported and directed by its members. The roots of the association date to 2005, when some members met and expressed a desire to reach out to the community with free English as a Second Language resources that go beyond one-on-one contacts or tutoring, without regard to religion, nationality, or background. The simple goal of wanting to communicate in English has blossomed.

Although classes are currently still being held online, prior to the onset of COVID19, the Maplewood Library ESL program met every week since June 2008. Over 2000 students, including refugees and immigrants from Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Korea, Japan, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela, the Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Burundi, Somalia, Sudan, the Congo, and dozens of other countries have attended. Students of all nationalities, religions, cultures, ages, genders, and educational background are welcome.

We have partnered with other groups to provide ongoing adult education, including local institutes and colleges, apartment complexes, and local businesses. Let us know if you have a group of students who are committed and excited about learning English.

ESOL is an acronym for English for Speakers of Other Languages. It also stands for English as a Second Original Language or simply English as a Second Language--sometimes abbreviated as ESL.

ESOL Associates of Rochester and the Maplewood Library ESL program are proud to have been part of the orginal Rochester Literacy Movement.

Follow us on Twitter @ESLRochester.

Who's Who: Some of our teachers and staff

img/sbaruch.jpgMy name is Susan Baruch and I am a retired Kodak scientist/engineer. These days I fill my time with volunteer work. Besides being a Teacher with EAR, I work as an assistant to the Art Therapist at the Jewish Home of Rochester, as a math and reading tutor at Rochester City School 52 and most recently I have become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children). In my spare time, I am also a writer. My novel Paternity came out in 2010 and in 2013 it was released as an audio book. I love sharing my story in book club settings.

img/abest.jpgHi! I'm Allison Best. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in English Lit and Language in 2013. In addition to my English related degree, I am TEFL certified from the Tefl Academy Online, observed ESL classes at Victor HS, as well as volunteered taught English with EAR: ESOL since June 2013! I love to travel and explore! The favorite place I visited was Gorky Park, Moscow, Russia. I teach with patience, enthusiasm, and excitement!

img/mbutler.jpgMichael Butler is a motivated teacher with plans to teach English abroad. He currently is attending the University of Rochester. He loves his community here in Rochester and plans to return after spending time overseas for more schooling. His goal is to return and obtain his master's degree from the U. of R. He enjoys playing the guitar and has traveled around the United States busking. He hopes to do the same in other parts of the world.

Mike is currently learning the Spanish language and is hoping to travel soon throughout South America.

img/mfettig.jpgMitchell Fettig is a graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in Spanish and Certificates in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), German, and European Studies. He has been a volunteer with EAR since September of 2014. As one of the Saturday morning teachers, he has the privilege to work with a great group of teachers and dedicated students who make every class both productive and fun.

Mitchell loves learning and teaching languages. His other interests include playing trumpet and piano, board games, and traveling. In the future, Mitchell hopes to teach English abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, as well as complete a Master's degree in Education so he can teach in public schools in the United States.

img/shorn.jpgStephanie Horn has been teaching English with EAR since January 2013. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a BS in Accounting and a minor in German Language. While working for an international company, Stephanie became interested in learning strategies to break down language and cultural barriers. She is currently completing a Masters degree in ESOL Education at Nazareth College and also holds General English and Business English certifications from the International TEFL Corporation. Stephanie enjoys traveling, learning languages, and learning about other cultures. Her upcoming plans for 2014 include spending a week at the Ndakinna reservation in the Adirondacks, presenting about TESOL Education at an American culture conference in Hungary, and possibly teaching English in China!

img/cshea.jpgCori Shea was a Teacher with EAR from January to August of 2012. She has a Master's degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language from the University of Salamanca in Spain and a B.A. in Spanish from Nazareth College of Rochester, New York. Cori was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at St. John Fisher College of Rochester, NY from 2010-13 and also taught middle school Spanish at Greece Central School District from 2008-09.

Although Cori's love for the Spanish language and culture is clear, she also has a strong interest in all other languages and cultures of the world. She is currently a part-time elementary school teacher of English as an Additional Language (EAL) at The American School in Switzerland (TASIS) in Lugano, Switzerland. Cori and her husband obtained jobs at TASIS by attending an international teacher job fair with Search Associates in Toronto and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In her spare time, Cori enjoys studying Italian and hiking in mountains nearby Lugano. In the summer of 2014, Cori will be taking a 4-week CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) course awarded by the University of Cambridge.

img/mstepien.jpegMarianne Stepien is an ESL Teacher and has been with EAR since 2019.

Teaching English is her true passion, as she's very interested in Psycholinguistics, Language Acquisition, Language Development and Bilingual Education. Apart from holding that interest on an academic level, she also sees it play out in her life, as she herself is bilingual (Polish and English) and raises a bilingual son. Because of her expertise in the topic, as well as her own life experiences, Marianne believes that anyone can speak perfect English, fluently and with great pronunciation. Her philosophy stands in contrast to that held by some linguists, that a foreign accent will never go away if a student is past the age of 12; Marianne believes, and has witnessed it in her own life, that both the brain and the jaw are made of muscles and muscles can be trained and re-shaped in any age. In other words, she believes that anyone in any age can achieve full fluency, perfect pronunciation and amazing confidence while speaking in English!

img/bvanliew.jpgMy name is Blaine VanLiew and I have been a teacher with EAR since June of 2013. I graduated SUNY Cortland with a BA in History and a minor in Political Science. I knew I wanted to travel the world while making some money along the way to pay down my student loans! Teaching English abroad seemed like my best option and I found this great volunteer program in Rochester to supplement my certification until I leave for Korea in May 2014. I love meeting and teaching new students from all over the world who in turn give me a new perspective on it, allowing me to grow not only as an instructor but as a person.

Lauren Landsburg, Director, is one of the original co-founders of EAR. She worked as a volunteer one-on-one tutor for immigrants in English as a Second Language for six years prior to deciding that an organization devoted to teaching small groups of students would be an ideal match to improve the opportunities for new immigrants and refugees while harnessing the excellent teaching skills and energetic volunteers available in the Rochester community.

In addition to directing EAR, Lauren is an economist and private computer consultant. She migrated into computer programming while running a side-business specializing in typesetting and searching textbooks using her own software in the early 1990s. Before that, she taught economics at the U. of Rochester and later served on the Council of Economic Advisers under two presidents. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the U. of Chicago, preceded by an A.M. in Chinese from Yale University and a B.S. from the U. of Rochester. She became interested in economics after she noticed that classical Chinese texts regularly reported money supply figures. She is co-author of a textbook, Macroeconomics, and has published in the Journal of Applied Econometrics. She is the Editor at the Library of Economics and Liberty, including the popular podcast EconTalk.