PCS offers adult ESL classes

The Pelham City Schools ESL department is offering ESL classes to adults every Tuesday evening through the school year. (Contributed)

The Pelham City Schools ESL department is offering ESL classes to adults every Tuesday evening through the school year. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Schools English as a Second Language department has partnered with the Literacy Council of Central Alabama to offer ESL classes to adults in the Pelham community.

The class aims to provide students with individualized instruction to develop and improve English language skills at each level, including reading, speaking and writing.

“It’s individualized to meet their specific requirements,” PCS ESL/ELL Coordinator Sevim Whitaker explained, noting it is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to teaching and learning English.

Students do not need to meet any skill or proficiency requirements in order to join the class, “all they have to do is show up,” Whitaker explained. Students will be evaluated before their first class to determine the areas they need to focus on and improve and to help instructors “know exactly where to start,” Whitaker said.

“It was really important to me to make sure we’re teaching at the level they are at,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker said the public response to the program has been strong. More than 35 people attended the first class on Sept. 16, and Whitaker said she expects to have more than 40 students on Sept. 23.

“I’m excited that they’re excited,” Whitaker said.

The class is led by two instructors from the Literacy Council and students are split into two skill level-based groups.

“We will expand it,” Whitaker said, adding she hopes to bring in more instructors in order to accommodate larger classes.

Classes are held at Valley Intermediate School every Tuesday throughout the school year from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free childcare is available on site. Classes are free, although students must purchase a $25 textbook, and they are open to the public. For more information, call 624-6700.