Commuting up the hill from the World Relief office every Monday through Thursday, eager students attended their five-hour English class at Hillside Church.
Last summer, World Relief received a state-funded grant to hold a six-month intensive English class in addition to our regularly-scheduled classes. This pilot program was designed to increase the speed of English-level gains by providing five hours instead of three hours of class daily.
In early fall, gracious community partners opened up their doors to host our intensive English class, we selected an energetic instructor to teach the class, we invited a variety of English level 1 and 2 students to participate in this unique opportunity, and volunteers came to practice English and build relationships with our students.
As weeks and months passed, the class blossomed from a group of individual students from different language backgrounds to a community of learners who constantly challenged, encouraged, and supported each other.
In March the pilot came to an end. The students transitioned back to regular, three-hour English classes at World Relief and said goodbye to the community they had built over six months of daily, intensive study together.
As funding allows, we hope to be able to offer a similar model in the future. In the meantime, we get to celebrate all English-language levels gains from this intensive English class and our regular English classes.
Want to be a part of this community? We are always looking for volunteers in our ESL classes to practice English and build relationships with our newly-arrived refugee friends! Visit http://worldreliefseattle.org/volunteer to learn how you can get involved in empowering the lives of refugees here Washington.