Document Type


Publication Date

May 2013


Service-learning is a great way for ELLs to get involved in the community, develop interpersonal communication skills, and do research on social issues, but it can be an overwhelming course to develop. This presentation will outline how one IEP successfully developed a service-learning course and offer tips for those who want to develop their own.

In Summer 2012, a team was organized to examine the ways in which service-learning could be implemented at our university’s IEP. This “Creative Team” explored both curricular and extra-curricular options, and after surveying students and examining other models of service-learning courses, the team decided to pursue the development of a service-learning elective course for upper-intermediate and advanced students in the IEP’s Academic English Program. The following semester, they worked on the development of the course goals, objectives, student learning outcomes and assessments, and a general weekly schedule. The course was launched in Spring 2013, with strong student enrollment.

In this session, presenters will describe the steps they followed to develop this course. They will explain the survey questions used to gauge student interest in service-learning and the results from that student survey. They will share the service-learning course guide and class schedule, so that others can use it as a model. They will also discuss various class activities and lessons that were used in the course. Finally, they will talk about what the student’s experiences were. The session will also cover the basic principles of service-learning to discuss how it differs from general volunteering or community service and how it fits in academic courses.

Participants will be encouraged to share ideas and ask questions. All attendees will leave with a handout highlighting the session’s main points, including a bibliography of resources for future reference.