View Full Version : Getting an ESL Program started
I'm with Christ Our Shepherd Ministries in Matthews, NC. We have a state-of-the-art computer lab that we would like to offer along with an ESL program, but I have no idea how to get started or what we would need in terms of resources, etc. In short, we're starting from scratch. Can someone help with ideas, procedures, etc.?
Director of Community Learning
It really depends on your aims, budget, etc. Do you want to use IT for entire courses or as an add-on? There's plenty of software out there:
If you wish to design courses, there are Virtual Learning Environments, like Moodle, which give you the tools to create them. Do you want web oriented studies or to run programs off your computers?
Thanks for your reply. Our budget is very limited; we are a Christian non-profit organization that works primarily with single parent families. We would need to use the type of program that is least expensive. We can accommodate 10 people in our lab at a time. I'll need to know all the basics--how to get started, logistics, etc. Does one need to know the language of the student in order to teach an ESL class? As you can see, I know nothing about starting an ESL program! Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.
You don't need to know the students' languages, but some knowledge always helps as it enables you to see what problems they might face. If they come from other language families, then they may have considerable difficulties in assimilating the English system.
Do you have internet access? If so, then you don't need any outlay really- there's plenty of free stuff out there that they can practise on. If you could let me know this, then I can try to help with this, or, if not, try to suggest other alternatives. ;-)
The best thing to do is get a trained teacher in; otherwise it's the blind leading the blind.
You might advertise for volunteer teachers who are taking a course and need some teaching practice, or take a course yourself which will give you the knowledge to help others.
It's not really viable to guess your way in the dark.