At the beginning of August, CRP started back up its own ESL classes for adults in the community. Two levels were offered, one for beginners and one for moderate to advanced learners, in order to to reach the broadest range of speakers and provide a maximum benefit to the community as a whole.
Learning English is crucial for participants for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, it gives students something productive to do during the day since they are not allowed to work in Jordan. For those who are applying for resettlement, English is an empowering skill to acquire; not only will it help them integrate into their new communities, but it will make them far more employable in foreign countries. CRP believes it is essential for our participants to learn English now while they have the time, because once they resettle they will likely be too busy adjusting to their new life and working hard to support their families, rather than having time to commit to their studies. When asked why they are studying English, participants gave a range of answers such as, “I am studying English because I want to understand American films (English movies)”, “I am studying English because I want to live in Australia”, “I am studying English because my brother lives in Texas”, and “I am studying English because I want to be English teacher”.
Our classes are focused on a variety of skills, but generally work on all four categories of language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The teachers work to incorporate these components into every lesson, regardless if the main focus is on grammar, vocabulary, or contextual situations. We employ a variety of teaching methods and techniques in order to cater to the widest range of learning modalities (i.e. visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile), and to provide the best individualized instruction possible. The classes are student-driven, focusing on the current and future language needs of the participants (i.e. navigating the resettlement process, finding employment, etc.).
When asked to give feedback about his ESL class, one student responded, “it’s always good to have a native speaker, you always learn something new. Especially when you hear someone speak their own language in their accent”. Another student responded similarly saying, “good that the teacher does not speak Arabic, only English in class”. Lastly, a final student made the point of saying, “we thank CRP for English classes”. Overall, the classes have already been a huge success, and we hope they will continue that way with the continued support of our donors, CRP staff, our dedicated interns and volunteers, and of course our hardworking students.