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English as a Second Language for adults begins Sept. 9

By Rosalind Marshall
Special to The SUN

The Archuleta County Education Center offers English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adults. If you know someone who wants to learn English, our instructors, Rosalind Marshall and Susan Lawrence, are eager and willing to help.

This year, classes begin on Tuesday, Sept. 9, with enrollment and orientation from 5-7 p.m. on both Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Thursday, Sept. 11. Classes will be held at the Community United Methodist Church. The church generously offered space for this program when the Education Center building was sold in 2013, and has donated a classroom exclusively for the ESL program.

With federal funding from the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA), Title II of the Workforce Investment Act, the Colorado Department of Education has allocated funding for the Archuleta County Education Center to offer ESL for over 15 years. ESL programs supported by this grant must adhere to strict state and federal guidelines, including standardized tests and certification for instructors in adult education.

The teaching system is based on competencies, which encompass more than 300 essential life skills that people need to be successful member of families, communities and the workforce. Test performance reflects proficiency in individual progress over time, and students are encouraged to attend classes regularly to achieve language acquisition. Tests are administered at registration to measure the student’s beginning level of English, and then again after a minimum of 40-60 classroom hours to measure improvement.

Although most of the students are from Mexico, there have been students from China, Ukraine, Guatemala, Colombia, Thailand, Philippines and Russia.

The goal for the ESL program is to provide basic instruction in English, emphasizing communication and culture. All classes are taught entirely in English, as it has been proven that the immersion method is far more successful than translating from one language to another.

Regular attendance in the ESL program leads to improved job skills, integration into the local community and increased communication with children’s teachers and community groups. U.S. history, government and civics are regularly included in the syllabus.

We have two levels of instruction: beginning/low intermediate and intermediate/advanced. We have highly qualified instructors with years of experience with ESL students.

Susan Lawrence has many years’ experience in teaching English to K-12 non-English speakers, and has been with the adult ESL program for two years.

Rosalind Marshall, herself an immigrant from Great Britain, returns for her eighth year of ESL teaching with the Education Center.

Both instructors approach teaching with fun and purpose built into each class. Classes are offered by the Education Center during the school year and generally follow the same calendar as the school district. Free childcare is available by appointment.

If you know someone who wants to learn English as a second language, suggest that they enroll in ESL classes. These classes are offered 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in Room 203 at the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St.

Classes and textbooks are free. Call 264-2835 for more information or visit our website at www.TheACEC.com.

This story was posted on August 21, 2014.