ESL Conversation Friends
St. Brendan’s English as a Second Language conversation groups are free of charge and open to immigrants from all nations and economic backgrounds. Meeting several times a week, we discuss life-topics or articles in the Easy English News, a newspaper about American life written for ESL students. We enjoy learning about each other’s cultures.
Tuesdays: 10:00 am -12:00 pm
Wednesdays: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursdays: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Since April 2017, St. Brendan's English as a Second Language (ESL) ministry, Conversation Friends, puts Christ’s love in action by reaching out to help immigrants and citizens for whom English is not a native language. We do not evangelize but provide a friendly, compassionate venue where our friends can comfortably practice their speaking and listening skills without fear of embarrassment or ridicule. For most of our students, Conversation Friends is the only place they try to speak or understand English and they are very grateful for the opportunity.
Classes involve lively discussions, learning new words and phrases, and practice using descriptive English by playing word games and taking part in other learning initiatives. Our students are very friendly, appreciative and eager to come to class. Volunteers enjoy the students’ enthusiasm and the appreciation they express for the help we give and for the spirit in which it is given. We all agree the group’s energy is addictive and that we each receive much more than we give at every class.
Our current students are from, Japan, South Korea, China, Haiti & Brazil. Most of them were professionals in their own countries: teacher, engineer, computer specialist and author, translator, violinist, airline specialist, hospital planner, etc. Most volunteers are members of St. Brendan’s but several are from nearby faith communities or just friends of our parish.
Last fall, a PhD scientist from China, with excellent reading and writing skills, came to us for help with his strong accent. His speech was very difficult to understand and potential employers found it a barrier to employment. He worked hard with our group to overcome his difficulties and recently succeeded in communicating well during an interview, thus securing a job in his chosen profession!