Every year, hundreds of students are empowered through the Dominican Sisters’ Las Casas ESL Program.
The mission of Las Casas - English as a Second Language (ESL) is to provide English language learners the skills needed to advance their educational, vocational and personal goals. Our location, in the Fruitvale area of Oakland, allows us to offer classes and support a learning community with limited access to language instruction. Classes are held in the evening for adult students who work days.
Las Casas’ popularity and success is largely due to the approximate 20-25 volunteer teachers who are deeply committed to students reaching their goals. The Las Casas teachers are the heart and soul of the program.
Classes meet in St. Elizabeth High School on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights (7-8:30 PM). Typically, 110 – 120 students receive instruction in seven classes offered on five levels which range from Introduction to ESL – Intermediate/High.
Sequenced courses allow students to advance in small, supportive classes. The need for the program is evident in a growing waiting list. The corps of volunteer teachers donate their time and bring a lifetime of teaching experiences to the classroom.
Las Casas is named for a 15th century Dominican saint who ministered in the New World. Bartolome de Las Casas, historian and theologian, spent much of his life fighting for the rights of native people.