Programs & Activities

English In Action Conversations

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English in Action is a program that matches newcomers to the U.S. with American volunteers for weekly, one-to-one conversation practice sessions.  EIA helps students master conversational English and fosters cross-cultural, global understanding through English.


Conversation Session Schedule: English in Action meets during the day on Mondays through Saturdays and on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Click here for a complete schedule.

Are you interested in setting up an English in Action unit in your community center, workplace or place of worship?  We are eager to bring English in Action to more communities across the five boroughs.  Please contact Karen Ruelle at for more information.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer tutor? Please click here or contact Karen Ruelle for more information.

English In Action Announces Winner of Marcella Frank Merit Scholarship

December 2012

We're thrilled to announce that English in Action student Clara Lobato is the recipient of the second Marcella Frank Merit Scholarship. This scholarship is named in memory of the unit director who brought English in Action to NYU and led that unit for many years. Recipients are selected for their seriousness of purpose and their dedication to the program.

Clara is from Mexico. She joined English in Action in 2011 and has been studiously improving her English ever since. The scholarship will enable her to extend her registration for another year. Congratulations, Clara!

Pictured above: Marjorie Jelin (one of Clara's English in Action tutors); Kilim Byun (last year's award recipient); Clara Lobato; Edward Yanishefsky (one of Clara's English in Action tutors)

Exciting New Resources for English in Action!

This fall the ESU has introduced an exciting new packet of resources for English in Action: The Marian Siegel Tutor Toolkit, named in memory of a beloved English in Action tutor who passed away last year. One toolkit will be given to each New York unit to share among its students and tutors. English in Action Manager Karen Ruelle has been visiting each of those units to answer questions and demonstrate the most effective use of the various materials.

The toolkit was Ruelle's brainchild, in consultation with the English in Action Ad Hoc Committee, which made recommendations on what kinds of materials to include. It was funded by donations from the students and tutors, the result of a dedicated fundraising effort led by former unit director and tutor Rachel Roth.

Each toolkit contains: The Oxford Picture Dictionary; an idiom book; a packet of conversation topic cards; US history flash cards; maps; a mirror (to be used to improve pronunciation) and rubber bands (for demonstrating emphasis), with directions on their use; pronunciation exercises; simple games; a US Culturegram; NYC resources; and back issues of the English in Action newsletter Here/There. Units are encouraged to add other materials and resources, as they like.

So far, the Tutor Toolkit has had an enthusiastic reception, and a number of students and tutors have been inspired to acquire more of these materials for their own use. Anyone interested in funding additional toolkits is encouraged to contact Kari Reynolds, Director of Development, at