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St. Mark English as a Second Language (ESL) Ministry

 Learning English Opens Doors! Volunteers staff a twice-weekly English instruction program for adult students.  There are seven different proficiency levels, from beginner 1 to advanced 2. In a typical session, students range from young adults to senior citizens and come from about 30 different countries and 5 continents. The students represent many different religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.  For most volunteers, no foreign language skills are necessary because English is the only language all the volunteers and students share. Most ESL teachers and aides volunteer one evening a week, either Tuesday or Thursday.  Classes are from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM. For lead teachers, there is also some planning involved and communication by email to their Tuesday/Thursday counterparts. The time commitment totals about 3 hours a week for lead teachers, about 2 hours/week for aides.

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Sharing our Freedoms:  Also offered is an optional citizenship preparation class to students who demonstrate at least intermediate English proficiency and are legal permanent residents eligible to apply for US citizenship.  The curriculum is designed to prepare the students for the civics knowledge and English reading and writing portions of the citizenship exam. This class meets from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM and employs a multi-media approach including video, audio, Internet, and in-class exercises to thoroughly prepare the students for the exam.   For lead teachers, there is also some planning involved and communication by email to their Tuesday/Thursday counterparts. The time commitment totals about 3 hours a week for lead teachers, about 2 hours/week for aides.

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Let’s Talk!!   A supplemental conversation group is offered to our intermediate and advanced students prior to the core ESL classes.  Facilitated by several volunteers each session, the conversation group will provide a 45-minute period for students to practice conversation skills. Different topics will be the focus each session.  The conversation group will meet from 7:00 PM to 7:45 PM.  Facilitators plan activities and conversation topics and report to their Tuesday/Thursday counterparts.  The estimated time commitment is 90 minutes/week.

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