Greetings from ESL and Immigrant Ministries
Speak Easy
Newsletter from English as a Second Language and Immigrant Ministries
Fall 2018
Teaching Tips: Advanced Edition

Happily, some advanced students like to return semester after semester, so refreshing the content is key. Check out these activities recommended by veteran volunteers in our programs. 
  • Give students a task that requires communication, such as giving advice. Assign questions from Dear Abby columns to groups of students and ask them to come up with solutions.
  • Ask students to give a presentation on wedding customs -- or superstitions or the educational system -- in their country. Discuss the similarities and differences. Students are eager to talk about what they know!
  • Read a book aloud. One very ambitious class tackled Gone with the Wind.
  • Read or perform a play such as The Odd Couple.
  • Incorporate songs.
  • Cut out Washington Post headlines that contain idioms and discuss them. 
  • Discuss idioms that are associated with a theme, such as sports or Native Americans. 
Do you have a favorite activity for beginning or intermediate students? Please let us know at
Volunteer Spotlight

By Connie Hauer, ESLIM's Program Administrator

Tom Virnelson has been an ESLIM volunteer for the past seven years. Not only has he taught classes, but also he has assisted students with issues ranging from immigration to transportation. He has helped students to prepare resumes and has tutored their children. In addition to his regular class, Tom has taught extra classes on life topics every week as well as summer sessions. His dedication to the immigrant community is appreciated and admired not only by his students but by all who participate in the program at Centreville United Methodist Church. 
We are thankful for all of the volunteers who spend countless hours working to ensure that our classes remain a viable alternative for those seeking to learn English and find new friends in a caring and warm environment. 
If you have someone that you would like to recognize in future issues of this newsletter, please email me at

Thank you to Dulin United Methodist Church and Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church for hosting our teacher training sessions in the fall.
Three Ways to Get Involved

1. Volunteer opportunities are available for the winter/spring semester! No teaching experience or foreign language skills are needed--just a willingness to share one morning, afternoon or evening a week, plus some time for lesson planning. Semesters typically last for 10 to 12 weeks. See our website for more information and submit a volunteer application form today.   

2. Did you know you can assist ESLIM just by shopping online? Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible AmazonSmile purchases when you shop at Simply search for "English as a Second Language and Immigrant Ministries" and select it as your charity.

3. Your donation to ESLIM helps us reach out to prospective students and train volunteer teachers. It also allows our member programs to spend more on essentials such as books and supplies. To donate via PayPal or find instructions for mailing a check, please visit our website.      

We promote and support the teaching of English to adult immigrants of all nationalities in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia and welcome their active participation in our community.

To support the efforts of our member churches, ESLIM handles a variety of tasks in a centralized way. Its activities include the following:
  • Advertising for, placing, and training volunteer teachers
  • Advertising the English classes in foreign-language media
  • Maintaining a voice mail line for inquiries from prospective students and volunteers
  • Producing the Speak Easy e-newsletter two or three times per year
  • Maintaining a website that features the class schedule, a variety of resources for teachers, instructions for making donations, and information for churches considering an ESL ministry
ESL & Immigrant Ministries | |