ESOL classes begin in Montevallo
By GINNY COOPER MCCARLEY / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO—Registration for the fall semester of English for Speakers of Other Languages will be held at Parnell Memorial Library on Aug. 28 from 6-7:45 p.m.
The class is free, but students must bring $25 to cover the cost of materials, Allie Williams, director of the library, said.
The class, which started two years ago, is led by Linda Farris and her husband, Jim, and sponsored by the Literacy Council of Central Alabama.
The group of “approximately 20” students begin each class with a 15-20 minute group session where they play games and have group discussion before breaking up into four smaller groups based on skill level, Linda Farris said.
Students with very little prior knowledge of the language begin by learning the alphabet, their address and phone number, while more advanced students study composition and prepare for the citizenship exam.
“Some students have studied English in their home country and mostly just need practice,” Linda Farris said. “Some don’t really speak English at all.”
The class begins Sept. 4 and ends the week before Thanksgiving. The spring semester will run from January to May.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Linda Farris said. “We thoroughly enjoy it.”
Though Linda Farris speaks German after spending time there while her husband was in the military and has studied French, she emphasized that volunteers do not necessarily need to speak another language.
“It’s a misconception that you have to be fluent in another language. Really, you just need to speak English,” Linda Farris said. “We can always use other volunteers.”
For more information on the program, call 665-9207.