Written by: Tiffany Westry
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham will offer community English classes free of charge for international faculty and staff and their family members, as well as students and other language learners in the Greater Birmingham area.
Hosted by the UAB School of Education Department of Curriculum and Instruction, these English classes serve as a teaching opportunity for the master’s program in teaching English as a Second Language. Classes are taught by graduate students being trained to become teachers of English as an additional language in a college or community setting, as well as abroad.
Classes will take place Sept. 13-Dec. 7 in the UAB Education Building, located at 901 13th St. South, Room 118, every Thursday night from 7-9 p.m., and Friday mornings from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Registration takes place on the first day of class and will continue throughout the semester. New participants are encouraged to take a brief, simple placement test on the first day to determine which of four levels would best meet their English learning needs. Placements tests will be offered Sept. 6, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1.
In addition to listening and speaking practice, instructors will help English learners with idioms, or certain phrases and the cultural expectations pertaining to those phrases. UAB’s community English classes also incorporate reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar, as well as information about local culture and history. Conversation in English is also an important part of the curriculum. This kind of informal language is used to interact socially with colleagues, acquaintances, friends and family.
In the past few years, participants from more than 40 countries have attended UAB community English classes. The English conversation classes serve as a lab school for the master’s program in teaching English as a Second Language. Classes are taught by graduate students being trained to become ESL teachers and community volunteers.
For more information, visit the community English class website or call Josie Prado at 205-975-5045.