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Cordova Library Chases Fears of Learning English for ESL Customers

By: Marcey Wright

Join the conversation! The English Language Learners' Conversation Group at Cordova Branch Library is your chance to learn English at your own pace.The fear of learning English is fading at Cordova Branch Library (8457 Trinity Road), where customers learning to speak the nation’s official language can attend free English Language Learners’ Conversation Groups. Offered each Saturday (1 pm – 2 pm) and fourth Thursdays of each month (2:30 pm – 4 pm), groups give English as a Second Language (ESL) customers a chance to learn at their own pace.

“Non-native English speakers can gain confidence, build their vocabularies, reduce their accents, practice pronunciation, and become more fluent in speaking English,” said Philip Williams, Cordova Library branch manager. “The atmosphere is always welcoming and friendly, never threatening or stressful,” he promised.

Native English-speaking volunteers with specialized ESL tutoring experience have helped customers from Ethiopia, Turkey, Spain, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and Iraq to name a few. During sessions, attendants learn practical skills for daily use. “The emphasis is on informal, everyday English,” Williams said, “but participants also learn more about American society and culture, and get answers to their questions about everyday life in America, like how to order food, shop for groceries, or even visit the Library!”

In addition to learning everyday English, organizers say the program’s benefits will reach far into the future. “Helping [ESL] Library customers become more proficient in English will help them to accomplish their goals in life, like getting new or better jobs, pursuing higher education, addressing health issues by communicating with doctors and pharmacists, purchasing a home, or even obtaining U.S. citizenship,” Williams said. “Becoming more proficient in English can be a life-changing event that begins here at Cordova Library.”

For more information about English Language Learners’ Conversation Groups or other programs at Cordova Branch Library, call (901) 415-2764.