Literacy Practicum Students Learning

Faculty Director, Prof. Kira Hall, Department of Linguistics

The Literacy Practicum (LING 1900) is an outreach program sponsored by the CU Boulder Linguistics Department. We collaborate with Boulder community partners to provide literacy support to elementary school children learning to read as well as language support to people of all ages who are learning English. The collaboration involves working with our community partners to match CU Literacy Practicum volunteers, or Buff Buddies, to literacy and language learners in the Boulder area. Students enrolled in this service-learning course have the opportunity to earn an extra credit hour while volunteering as a mentor for approximately one hour per week.

CU students who participate in the Literacy Practicum discover that they can make a profound impact on the lives of young readers and English language learners. In their coursework, our students learn about the social, interactional, and cognitive advantages of bilingualism, but they also learn how a limited command of the English language in a country like the United States can restrict opportunities economically and socially. The additional credit hour enables students to apply theories behind literacy and second language learning to everyday life and thereby become part of the solution. From the perspective of our community partners, learners gain inspirational access to university students who are committed to community service and equipped to support language and literacy practices.

Student volunteers must either have volunteered for the Literacy Practicum in a previous semester or be currently enrolled in one of our sociocultural linguistic or TESOL courses. These include LING 1000 (Language in US Society), Ling 3545 (World Language Policies), LING 3630 (Principles and Practices for TESOL), Ling 4800 (Language and Culture), and LING 4910 (TESOL Practicum). 

We are proud to announce our current community partners: University Hill Elementary SchoolBoulder Public LibraryStudent-Worker Alliance Program, and Family Learning Center.

Learn more about our community partners, read featured blogs or buddy books from past students, see recognition the program has received, or find out how you can get involved in LING 1900!

To enroll in LING 1900
Students wishing to enroll in Ling 1900 must be currently enrolled in one of the linguistics courses mentioned above OR have previously acted as a volunteer for the program in a past semester. If you meet one of these requirements and are interested in volunteering this semester, please fill out the application.