Pelham church offers ESL teacher training

By Briana Harris / Staff Writer

PELHAM – The Shelby Baptist Association will offer English as a second language training Aug. 12-13 at First Baptist Church of Pelham.

Rebekah Parr, with the Shelby Baptist Association, said those who complete the 11-hour course will receive a certificate of completion from the North American Mission Board for teaching English as second or other language.

The course will be offered Friday, Aug. 12, from 1-8 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Kimberly Wilson, an ESL instructor at the University of Mobile and University of South Alabama, will serve as the instructor of the course. Wilson is also the volunteer director for the International Language School for the Mobile Baptist Association.

Parr said 15 people have signed up for the course so far and the facilities at First Baptist Church of Pelham can accommodate 30-40 people.

The course costs $25 and includes a teacher manual and two meals.

Parr, who has been an ESL teacher for 10 years, said completing the course would qualify someone to be a volunteer ESL teacher and would be good introductory training for those pursuing a career in teaching ESL.

Robin Eberhardt, a Maylene resident who took the course last summer, said she first developed an interest in ESL years ago when she lived in New Mexico. Since retiring in 2013, she now has time to devote to training.

Eberhardt said the course provided her with the skills she needed to start volunteering as an ESL teacher at Birmingham-based Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.

She teaches an ESL class for beginners every Thursday morning from September to May.

“The course is very thorough and the resources they give you are great,” she said. “My husband is planning to take the course this summer.”

Eberhardt said she learned how to prepare lessons, received guidance about what books to teach from and how to present vocabulary in ways that help students retain information.

“It can be overwhelming because of course you’re not going to remember everything that you go over during the course, but they give you a manual to take home and teachers are so enthusiastic and encouraging,” she said. “They make you feel like you can really do it. It’s such a rewarding ministry to be a part of.”

To register for the course go to Tinyurl.com/SBA-ESL16. For more information contact Parr at 205-669-7858.