Language classes held
Display of the activities of our International Club
In 2000, as was published in the November 2000 issue of our newspaper, our International Club began English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to help immigrants improve their knowledge of English, which will help them get better jobs, improve their quality of life, and become better citizens. The mentioned classes were run traditionally and lead by volunteer teachers.
Many problems challenged the program: different levels of English knowledge from no knowledge to almost perfect, different ages of students form teens to elderly people over 80 years old, an absence of teachers of the necessary qualifications, etc. Not nearly enough, only four classes were formed.
In the winter/spring semester of 2001, our International Club conducted special English/Russian classes on an experimental basis. The form was individual tutoring in both languages. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union taught Russian to their American friends. Americans, in exchange, taught English to immigrants.
Originally, classes had been planned to be conducted from 2pm to 4pm with two 30-45 minute lessons and a social/refreshment break. However, classes usually began with a 30-minute English lesson followed by a 30-minute Russian lesson with a break after that. Classes continued again with two lessons in each language.
Immigrants worked with Americans who wanted to learn Russian for many different reasons. We have had people who have needed to go to different countries of the former Soviet Union with religious missions. There were 26 missionaries from just one church in Olathe. We had people who wanted to go to Russia as tourists and wanted to know just a few words and phrases in Russian in order to be able to communicate with people in Russia.
During the classes, four tables with two chairs were placed in the corners of the room, and one in the middle. Because we have had only one classroom, we could serve a maximum of 10-15 students.
What we did in our classroom was original and much more productive compared to 25-student classes that are available at public libraries. Some American students expressed pleasure in their experience and said that in one lesson they made more progress than in weeks in conventional classes. Because we had only one class, this was a class for immigrants who work and need language improvement for employment. We plan to continue ESL classes in the fall of this year for elderly immigrants as well.
<= GO BACK
<<== BACK TO MAIN