EVSC English as a Second Language program celebrates 20 years

EVSC English as a Second Language program celebrates 20 years

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Diversity to EVSC means more than just black and white.

“Everyone has culture, regardless of skin color, language” said ESL Director Jacque Barnett.

20 years ago, EVSC saw that their students whose first language wasn’t English needed a little help.

In response, they adopted a program known as ESL, or English as a second language.

“These students are beginners, so we begin with ABCs, we begin with colors, we begin with numbers" said program teacher Janelle Nisley.

Cristo is in Ms. Nisley’s class and she left Haiti 6 months ago, and has made a lot of progress.

“I speak English, and write in English, talk in English” said Cristo.

She is one of 700 students corporation wide who takes part in the ESL program.

More than 50 languages are represented in the program, the most common are Spanish and Marshallese.

“It’s important for our students to rapidly acquire English, and part of that is being immersed in English for the majority of the day” said Barnett.

The students take their core classes in a regular classroom setting, their program teachers say it not only benefits them, but English speaking students as well.

“Teach them that it’s an advantage to know more than just one culture” said Nisley.

These students may be starting with the basics, but their teachers say they are fast learners and have big plans for their futures.

The ESL program plans to have an event open to the public that will allow everyone to learn more about their students’ cultures.

When we get more details on the event, we will be sure to let you know.

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