2019-2020 Belmont ESL program off to a strong start
by Jane DuBose
More than 100 students have registered for the English as a Second Language (ESL) program hosted by Belmont UMC on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The students’ home countries represent dozens of places, from Burkino Faso to Venezuela, and Japan to Haiti.
Belmont UMC’s ESL program relies on small student fees and reserves to finance its operations. Teachers, many of whom are Belmont UMC members, volunteer their time in the six classrooms, and several other volunteers do conversational coaching, work as aides, and substitute in the classes.
The program provides instruction on a listen/speak/read/write design for learners ranging from beginners to experienced conversationalists. The total immersion provides a chance for students not only to learn English culture, but for the instructors and fellow students to learn about the world.
For more information about ESL at Belmont—which is celebrating its 50th year—contact Charlie Hewgley or instructors Mary Kaye Jordan or Mary Jane Duke.
Registration for 2019-2020 classes took place in August and classes began September 3.
Our classes fill up quickly, If you were not able to get in, click here for information about other ESL programs around Nashville.
About Belmont ESL
Nearly forty years ago, a small group of Nashvillians saw a need to offer English classes for the city’s growing immigrant community. Belmont United Methodist Church opened its doors then and has enthusiastically supported the adult English as a Second Language program ever since, generously providing space for classes and support for hundreds of English language learners.
Prior to 2013, Belmont’s ESL program was funded by a federal government agency. When funding ended, the members of Belmont UMC chose to continue the ESL classes as an outreach of the church.
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning during the school year, over 100 students from over 35 countries eagerly meet to study English and learn American culture.
Learning English changes people’s lives. Over the years, many students have gone on to get their GEDs, pursue higher education, get better jobs and receive their US citizenship. More importantly, students become friends with people from other lands and other faiths, and, in the process, discover that we are all much more alike than we are different.
Students published in national newspaper
In December, Margarita Monterroso and Laetitia Jacquemet, both students in the Level 5 class taught by Ellamarie Parkison and Dick Bowers, submitted articles to the “News for You” newspaper. Their articles were published and appear below.
Our Nation’s Biggest Challenges
News for You readers wrote about our nation’s biggest challenges. They wrote about helping each other, global warming, and jobs.
It’s a new year, and soon we will have a new president. We asked News for You readers to write about what they think is our nation’s biggest challenge. Here’s what a few of our readers had to say.
Helping Each Other
Do not judge people you do not know. Every person has talents. Give them opportunity to show the different things they can do. Help them make this world great and different. God makes people with different talents, colors, and races. The world needs differences.
I like to compare people as if they were a big salad in which everyone needs everyone else. Salads need different kinds of lettuce and different kinds of fruits to taste good. If the world doesn’t have different people, it is not our world. Some can be architects, doctors, teachers, or farmers. We all need each other.
Please give opportunity to every person to become a part of our society. Help them get an education that will open their minds so they don’t worry about color, race, or where they come from. May God bless you and help you open your mind about how you think about people.
Margarita Monterroso, Guatemala
Belmont ESL, Nashville, Tennessee
Ecology and Global Warming
When you speak of global warming, there are two categories of people. Some are skeptical, but others believe in it. Ninety-seven percent of climatology researchers think that global warming is real and worrying.
Donald Trump, the U.S. president-elect, is a climate skeptic. He doesn’t believe in global warming and its consequences. During his campaign, he called it a hoax.
The big powers of our world meet together regularly to find common solutions to preserve our planet. Agreements have been signed. But Trump says he wants out from the agreements that were signed by the USA and others. The agreements commit countries to be responsible for the survival of our planet. For example, the USA is responsible for 15 percent of the global carbon dioxide gas emissions.
For me, global warming is the biggest challenge of the coming years. That is because it concerns not only the American people, but people like me who come from different parts of the world. Doing something about global warming is a common responsibility because our planet belongs to all of us.
Laetitia Jacquemet, Switzerland
Belmont ESL, Nashville, Tennessee
Belmont Writer’s Showcase 2016
Each week over 100 students from all over the world come to learn English at Belmont UMC. On April 28, these students told their stories at Belmont UMC’s annual ESL Writer’s Showcase event. It was a time to encourage, recognize, and celebrate Nashville’s multicultural population.
Click here to see more photos from the event on our Facebook page. Photos by Nicho Young
Levels One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Conversational
Classes are held from September through May.
Registration fee: $35.00 (non-refundable)
ESL classes meet Tuesday/Thursday 9:00-12:00
Sorry, no night classes are offered at this time.
Belmont ESL is a multi-level ESL program offering five classes from beginning to advanced.
Students are assessed at registration to determine correct placement. We work hard to make sure that students are placed in the best level for their speaking and writing abilities.
Curriculum used includes Ventures, New Interchange, Azar English Grammar, Oxford Picture Dictionary.
Belmont English News
Belmont ESL videos get “two thumbs up!”
Seen any good movies this summer? Here’s your chance not only to catch some heart-warming stories with an international flair but also to learn a little about some of our ESL students who attend Belmont’s ESL program from September to May. Several students have spent time this summer working with WNPT/Next Door Neighbors Storytellers director Shawn Anfinson. The students recorded their stories and then were loaned an iPad to create videos, download pictures, and create a short documentary.
Among many other stories, you can hear about Margarita’s home country of Guatemala, where opportunities for personal and financial growth were limited. Here in the USA, she and her husband are painting a different picture for themselves. You’ll meet hardworking Mariano who loves it here in Nashville. He is now learning English to help him adjust to life in America.
See these and more at www.wnpt.org/storytellers.