English Language and Literacy Program Director

November 19, 2020 Portland

Job Code 9500-11-19-20

Overview and Position Summary: 

As one of the five core programs of LearningWorks, the English Language + Literacy Program (EL+LP) offers English language and literacy instruction to Maine’s adult immigrant, refugee and asylum-seeking community by pairing students with English language tutors (“language mentors”) to work on their individualized goals, and by offering students classroom-based English language and culture education. This program’s services are delivered by a strong roster of dedicated and talented volunteers from the local community and serves up to 100 students annually.

The EL+LP Director manages and implements recruitment, training, placement, and matching of a roster of volunteer English language tutor/mentors and classroom instructors, and provides support and guidance to volunteer tutors and teachers on selecting and implementing language and literacy curricula and lessons for their students. This position also manages and implements the recruitment, intake, assessment, and matching and/or placement of all students across the tutoring and classroom platforms, and tracks and reports on all relevant student and volunteer data. This position also has a key role in developing and sustaining partnerships with community stakeholders that can strengthen the program’s impact.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, this program is operating remotely for the time being. This is subject to change based on public health data from the Maine CDC, and local health and safety data related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is otherwise based out of the LearningWorks main office at 181 Brackett Street, Portland, Maine.

This position is a full-time (35 hours/week) benefits-eligible position that allows for a flexible schedule which accommodates planning, program/activity time, and agency-level meetings.

RESPONSIBILITIES: (essential functions of the job)

This position contributes to the achievement of the English Language + Literacy Program’s goals and objectives through some or all of the following core accountabilities:

  • Conducting intake interviews with adult immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers to assess their language proficiency and learning goals, ranging from basic literacy acquisition to improving advanced academic skills
  • Recruiting, interviewing, and on-boarding new program volunteers;
  • Overseeing and/or facilitating the satisfactory training of all volunteers on agency and program policies;
  • Identifying and creating additional volunteer trainings according to program needs;
  • Maintaining productive and respectful relationships with education administrators and staff, including Portland Adult Education, the Maine Department of Education, the City of Portland’s Office of Economic Opportunity, Literacy Volunteers of Maine, and the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center.
  • Representing the program in agency-level meetings, work groups, professional development opportunities, and occasional board meetings;
  • Working with individual tutors to create individual service plans for students, troubleshoot and address adult learners’ concerns as they arise, and identify helpful resources to borrow from the EL+LP library;
  • Working closely with classroom volunteers to develop schedules for classroom instruction, make curriculum selections, and secure the resources necessary for instruction;
  • Overseeing the EL+LP Volunteer Committee, program intern(s), AmeriCorps VISTA member and/or volunteer manager as needed;
  • Tracking student progress and outcomes by administering formal assessments and surveys;
  • Maintaining, or overseeing the maintenance of, up-to-date student records using online client management database;
  • Collaborating with the agency’s Development Department to write grants, support fundraising and steward with donors;
  • Completing required data collection and internal and external reports on a weekly, quarterly, or annual basis as required; and

Assist with a variety of other tasks as assigned by the Director of Programs.


Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in a related field


  • Experience working with English language learning (ELL) students and teachers in an academic setting
  • Experience with English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL), English as a Second Language (ESL), adult education and/or literacy programming is desirable;
  • Experience with best practices in online educational/instructional programs
  • Superior cross-cultural communication skills
  • Experience recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers;
  • The belief that it is never too late for an adult to begin learning English or improve their language skills to connect to their community and feel at home in a new place
  • The ability to problem-solve and leverage resources to deliver the best possible learning experience to clients
  • Familiarity with language(s) other than English highly desirable, particularly French, Portuguese, Arabic, Somali, Lingala, Swahili, and/or Spanish.
  • Comfort speaking to groups and facilitating meetings for the purpose of recruitment and training, strong presentation skills;
  • Self-motivated and able to work autonomously;
  • Highly organized with project management experience required;
  • Proficiency using computers and software including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint as well as online meeting platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet
  • The desire to be an integral part of a passionate non-profit team that values and welcomes creativity, collaboration, and innovation across levels


Compensation and Benefits:

The salary for this full time regular exempt position is up to $37,619 annually, depending on experience, skills, and qualifications. It is a full-time, non-exempt position working 35 hours a week.

Benefits: Health, Dental, Life, HSA(with health insurance enrollment), 133 hrs of PTO to start, 12 paid holidays, bereavement and pet bereavement, 401K after one year of employment and 1000 hours served, family friendly, flexible environment

TO APPLY: Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our organization, what we do, and what we believe in. If you are inspired to join our team, please complete our online application and attach your resume and a thoughtful cover letter.  Incomplete applications will not be accepted.   Applications are being accepted until December 11th, 2020.

We are an equal opportunity employer. We prioritize the leadership of people of color and LGBTQ individuals, and we strongly encourage people of all traditionally marginalized identities to apply. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state, or federal laws