After a long summer break, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ardmore will offer English language classes again in August.
St. Mary’s English Language Learner Outreach holds classes for all proficiency levels from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays at the church’s seminary school. Julia Roberts, a parishioner and volunteer English teacher with the program, said the program has been ongoing for at least five years.
“We started it because if you don’t have a good grasp of the English language people can get taken advantage of,” Roberts said. “It’s hard to get around in the day-to-day, so it’s helping them look out for themselves and advocate for themselves.”
The program teaches six levels of English: Basic English, four difficulty levels and a transitional class for people who want to attend school, earn a GED or start higher education.
“Most of our students are hispanic, but I did have one last year from China and we do occasionally have students from other parts of the world,” Roberts said.
Roberts said the classes are for all ages, but most students are adults, with the exception of families who take the class together.
“We did have a few kids last year,” Roberts said.
The semester begins and ends with a spoken test to help place students in the right class. Classes cost $30, but students who finish the semester will be reimbursed. Anyone interested can sign up by messaging the group at https://www.facebook.com/outreachELL/. The courses follow the school year and will start on August 11.
“They can go to the grocery store and get what they need, they can go to a restaurant and order what they want,” Roberts said.
Classes also cover more niche topics. In previous years, Ardmore police officers have taught lessons covering vocabulary for a 911 call. Last year, Ardmore Emergency Manager Amber Wilson led a lesson on disaster preparedness.
“We always have one or two programs we try to do,” Roberts said.
Enrollment is still open, but Roberts said students should sign up for the course as soon as possible.
Calendars and more information can be found online at www.stmaryardmoreok.org/outreachELL.php.