Monday, 01 March 2010 21:05
The Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) at The University of Arizona is an excellent resource for students who don't speak English as a primary language. However, once one visits the center, they quickly discover there is much more than just language barriers that are being improved there.
The Nogales Program is one of eighteen offered at CESL and is one of its largest and most successful. Started five years ago, the Nogales Program has enabled UA teachers to go to Nogales, Sonora where they can assist foreign students with learning English and spreading knowledge of international business relations.
Martha Youman, coordinator of the Nogales Program, said that she became interested this career path of assisting others after she had to learn English, 12
years ago in New York. By the time Youman came to CESL, she had completed all
her English education and recieved a Master of Science in Bilingual Education.
Youman, who was born and raised in Ecuador, knows from her own experience how difficult not knowing English in America can be.
“I thought, 'Wow, maybe I can help out others with what I had struggled with.'”
The Nogales Program recruits its students from all over, not limiting itself to the Nogales area. However, every Tuesday and Thursday the program sends buses to Nogales to teach English at Escuela Gante, a school in the town. The program does not require their members to be UA students, but Youman says that many decide to attend after seeing the campus.
When asked if she has noticed any reoccurring problems with students participating in the program, Youman responded with one word.
The program runs just $310 for an eight-week session, and $550 for a 16-week session.
“To some people this may not seem like a lot, but every student has their own financial situation and we take this into serious consideration,” Youman said.
Jon Noble, an English teacher at CESL, said his favorite part of the job is the attitude of the students attending the program.
“They’re just so grateful, and so appreciative. They all have such a positive outlook on learning and I love being surrounded by that.”
Studying business relations at a college level is hard enough, but learning English at the same time? Now that's a real challenge.
These students, who range in age from the high school level to graduate students to professors, have a lot of learning to take in over the course of their program.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Nogales Program please visit the CESL building on campus or their website.
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