About Us


English Together served hundreds of immigrant workers in nearby communities.

English Together brings together and creates rich connections between ordinary speakers of English and low-wage, immigrant workers by preparing volunteers to serve as one-on-one “practice partners” in workplace English.

From its beginning as a service-learning Cardinal Course at Stanford University, English Together has served hundreds of Stanford students who engaged in coaching campus custodians through the Habla el Dia and Habla la Noche programs as well as immigrant workers in nearby communities.

Our Values

English Together focuses on building community and creating opportunities for people to come together to share goals and build trust.

Americans of all backgrounds have much to gain especially from getting to know and interacting with immigrant workers whose lives are often led next to, but very distant from, the worlds of the people that they serve.

Expanding opportunity for all is a key step in the organization's vision of a better world.

Impact & Consequences

Volunteers comment positively on the value of getting to know people very different from themselves. 

Workers report success, for example, in passing credentialing examinations, in understanding their young children’s assignments, in participating in parent-teacher conferences without an interpreter, in eavesdropping on workplace conversations, and in navigating Craigslist ads to find new housing.

Make A difference NOW

Volunteers support immigrants in developing practical, every-day, workplace English.

Our History

English Together was founded in 2021 by Guadalupe Valdés, the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education, Emerita at Stanford University.

The initiative builds on Valdés’ experience of over 25 years and working with college-age volunteers in various projects and surrounding communities including Ravenswood English and Ingles Personal in East Palo Alto, Redwood City, and Mountain View, California.

What past coaches have to say

Many adult English learners are linguistically isolated in minority communities. They have few opportunities to interact with supportive English speakers. Working one-on-one with a “practice-partner” helps learners develop the English that they need to use every day.

“In no way did I think my contributions were insignificant, but it dawned on me that by just being present, I will have fulfilled a need of the underserved English learning community. As long as I do everything in my power to be prepared to serve the learner, then I have succeeded.”

“Being able to work with a hard-working mother, who has recently arrived to the U.S. I have become much more aware of the need to participate and motivate others to take courses like this one, classes that benefit and uplift our community!”

“Coaching Everyday English helped me make an impact on Esther’s life, and on her mine. I will never forget my experience with Esther, my practical learning on language coaching, and the broader community based insight I achieved.”


Our Board

Our board is made up of individuals committed to education and public service.

Guadalupe Valdés

Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education, Emerita at Stanford University

Lily Wong Fillmore

Jerome Hutto Professor of Education, Emerita,
 University of California at Berkeley

Bernard R. Gifford

Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

Ed Alvarez

Chairman & president of the Latino Education Advancement Foundation

Patti Constantakis, PhD

Director on the Economic Opportunity team for Walmart.org

Ben Linder

Board Member

Jim Lianides

Board Member


Our Advisors

Our advisors are individuals committed to education and public service.

Secundino & Ninfa Zuno

United through Education

Lilly Quiñonez


Hiroshi Mendoza