In Elizabethton and most the communities in Northeast Tennessee, the ethnic composition of the cities is rapidly changing. “We are seeing a variety of ethnic faces and hearing a multitude of languages other than English,” writes Ellen Richardson, a member of Memorial Presbyterian Church.
The church saw a need for an English language ministry when a young Brazilian woman joined Memorial Presbyterian and could not speak English. “She could not get work because she could not speak nor understand English even though she had some knowledge of the written language,” said Richardson.
A class was started for her and from there several teachers from the congregation went for English as a Second Language (ESL) training.
Open formal classes for English as a Second Language will begin on Monday, Aug. 20, at Memorial Presbyterian Church, 100 East F St. The classes will be held in the evening from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Registration will be held on Monday, Aug. 6, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Students may enroll throughout the semester on any Monday at 6:30 p.m. All classes are free. There will be, however, a charge of $30 for books and classroom resources.
The ESL or conversational English classes will include the beginners class which is for those who speak little or no English. The intermediate class is for those who know just enough English to “get by.” The advanced class is for those who want to improve their pronunciation and accent in order to feel more conversing at work, at school and in the community. All who would like to learn conversational English are welcome. There will be free childcare for children under age 12.
For more information, call Memorial Presbyterian Church at 543-2711 or Allan and Ellen Richardson at 474-2307.