ESL Classes: A Win-Win Activity
ESL & Immigrant Ministries promotes and supports the teaching of English to adult immigrants of all nationalities in Northern Virginia and DC and welcomes their active participation in our community.
One way to describe ESLIM is with numbers:
- 21 member churches
- 29 years of service to our community
- 475 volunteers connecting with our immigrant neighbors
- 1,700 English learners committed to improving their lives
- Too many smiles to count
But the numbers don't capture the most important aspect of ESL classes: the interactions of amazing people! Students share stories about their cultures and traditions. They welcome the opportunity to practice their English skills in a safe space, where they can make mistakes and ask questions and gain the confidence to use their skills.
Volunteer teachers field the questions that puzzle our newest neighbors--everything from distinguishing words that sound similar (English is a little wacky, after all) to deciphering idioms to explaining unfamiliar customs. Meanwhile, every week is like visiting the United Nations or traveling around the world.
Participants build community and develop friendships throughout the semester. At the end-of-semester celebration, they might take class photos to share with their families back home, bring their favorite dishes to share a taste of their culture, or offer heart-felt thanks to the volunteers.
In a world where differences can divide people, ESL classes draw people together in a win-win activity. Thank you to everyone who makes this important ministry possible. In this issue, read about upcoming teacher training opportunities, the diversity in our area, and ways you can get involved.