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Community foundation offering free ESL classes this summer

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014 09:58 am

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Native Airdronians may think nothing of being able to ask for help finding a particular item at the grocery store or ordering something off a menu, but when you don’t speak English, those tasks become huge challenges.

“ESL (English as a Second Language) classes are important in order to increase language skills to improve quality of life in the community, workforce, everyday life and relationships with others,” said King’s Court ESL Program Co-ordinator Janice Otchere in a press release.

The King’s Court Community Foundation has been offering year-round ESL classes for more than seven years and is preparing to start a free summer session from July 9 to Aug. 19 (with no class on Aug. 5).

“We have a higher immigration population than we did,” Otchere said of the need for the courses. “It’s a young family community with lots of people coming from around the world.”

The courses, which can still be attended even if you miss the first class, run every Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at King’s Court Church located at 209, 2903 Kingsview Blvd.

“(The classes) give people understanding and connection in the community that makes them feel more comfortable,” Otchere said.

The ESL classes are open to adults and older teens and will include outings to various spots in the community including visiting the post office, the grocery store, shopping centres, the library and even a city-wide treasure hunt.

“Over the summer we’re doing outings and learning ways to use the language in the community,” she said. “It just gets (students) out and confident in the community. Using the language increases their ability to use everyday services.”

She said the classes will also encourage some learning at home and use of the language between classes.

“We want to encourage them to speak up and be confident on their own terms,” Otchere said.

To register or for more information, call Otchere at 403-561-2342 or contact her via email at janiceotchere@gmail.com

Fall classes will be starting Sept. 16 and those interested can pre-register now.


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