Popular classes in English language relaunch at Westfield library
WESTFIELD, Ind. (The REPORTER) — The Westfield Washington Public Library has announced the relaunch of its English Language Learners program, an initiative aimed at helping people learn and improve their English language skills.
The free program welcomed 68 non-native speakers this past week.
Children’s Librarian Kim Wright, a driving force behind the program’s revival, said, “I love the diversity coming into our community. I see it in the people who visit the library. I have a heart for diversity and for the people who come here to start a new life and learn a new language.”
Originally initiated in 2005, the English Language Learners program faced temporary suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic. The classes cater to a wide range of language backgrounds, including residents who speak Arabic, Russian, Spanish, as well as Slavic, Asian, and Indian languages, among others.
“The classes are designed for various proficiency levels,” Wright said. “Participants are given a placement test that helps identify where they need to start in the program and every 12 weeks or so they move to a more advanced class.”
The 90-minute weekly classes are designed for students 16 and older. They are taught at the Westfield Washington Public Library by a dozen English-speaking community volunteers.
“Our volunteers are currently teaching 14 classes,” Wright said. “Volunteers don’t need to speak the students’ language. They just need to be willing to lead a class through a series of workbooks.”
The classes are free thanks to sponsorship from the Westfield Library Foundation. Erin Downey, executive director of the Westfield Library Foundation, said, “Language is not just a tool, but a gateway to a world of opportunities and connections, and we’re proud to support this initiative.”
All spots are full for the fall session, but anyone interested in participating in future sessions can inquire at the adult reference desk. More placement tests are planned for January and February, with the hopes of starting a second session in March 2024.
Residents interested in volunteering to teach English Language Learners classes can contact Wright at email@example.com.
Westfield Washington Public Library photos provided via The Hamilton County Reporter