ESL Resource Center offers services to students, community
Contact: Constance Woods
HAMMOND – The English as a Second Language Resource Center at Southeastern continues to grow with the demand for students to pass the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the exam that foreign students have to take if they want to enroll in a university.
Students who want to attend Southeastern and have not taken the TOEFL can go to the lab to get prepared for the exam. “Every student that has come out of our program and has taken the TOEFL has passed,” said Abrille Johnson, instructor ESL Resource Center.
“Our objective is to deliver a more comprehensive and structured course of study to ESL students in order to prepare them for entry-level university courses,” said Lucia Harrison, head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
The 18-station ESL lab is also open to members of the community who want to learn or improve their English language skills, Harrison said. The lab has offered its services to area residents originally from Brazil, Peru, Vietnam, and China.
The lab’s eight-week ESL session provides an intensive and comprehensive course of study involving reading, English and composition, listening, speaking, phonetics, and American culture. After completing the session, students have the option of continuing with another eight-week session, for a total of one semester.
“For the first time we had a fall certificate ceremony,” said Johnson. Students received a certificate that reflected the level they had completed after eight-weeks. Also during the ceremony participants read poetry and played musical instruments.
Johnson said international students from Russia, Mexico, Ukraine, China, Romania and Arabic speaking countries like Egypt and Palestine have used the lab. “When tempted to communicate with each other in their native language, I tell them that this is an ‘English only zone’,” said Johnson.
Recruitment comes from Southeastern’s International Admissions office and through word of mouth. “We are seeking personnel and faculty who can stay longer hours to accommodate students from the community,” said Harrison. “Most of the community students come to the lab in the afternoon or late evening.”
“I have been coming to the lab for about two months,” said ESL student Besel Atten. “When I came here I could speak English a little bit. The English lab gave me more words.”
“When I have some question I can’t understand, they tell me in my Arabic language as well as in English,” he said. “It is a good program!”
The ESL Resource Center, located in D Vickers Hall, room 209, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
For more information on the ESL Resource Center contact Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at 985-549-2152.