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Free ESL Classes At UNM-Los Alamos

on August 2, 2017 - 7:55am
Mei Chi, Yan Leng and Perihan Ozsoy work on English exercises in the ESL class at UNM-LA Adult Basic Education. Often students in the ESL classes come from different countries with a variety of native languages. Photos by Jane Clements, UNM-LA
UNM-LA News:
The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) Adult Basic Education is again offering free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes beginning Tuesday, Aug. 22 and running through Dec. 14, 2017.
ESL classes are designed to benefit anyone wishing to improve their English language skills. The ESL program is funded with state and federal grants. The classes are free, and students are provided with a book and a workbook.
Classes are grouped into beginner, intermediate, advanced and multi-level. Classes average 10 students per section, and lessons are tailored to meet the needs of the class as a whole. The evening multi-level class is geared towards discussion of contemporary topics based on TED talks, and welcomes English-learners at any level of proficiency. There are usually a number of LANL post-docs in the evening class who attend to develop their conversational skills in social settings.
New to the ESL classes this fall is an online component that addresses interpersonal workplace skills which may be helpful for people coming from other cultures. The computer labs in the Adult Basic Education department are available outside of class hours for students to use for practicing any of the online lessons.
UNM-LA Adult Basic Education Program Coordinator, Jane Clements, Ph.D. says, “We provide more thanjust a classroom experience. We take students on field trips to places like the Food Coop where they can face the language challenges inherent in the situation and learn the particular set of words they need. We encourage students to get involved in the community at large. We help them find volunteer positions and we follow through to ensure they are having a good experience.”
On occasion guest speakers will visit the classes to share their expertise on topics like navigating banking in the U.S or understanding our medical system.
Students are encouraged to join the class before Aug. 21, and attend three sessions a week (Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday) if they can, but they are welcome to join the class at any time and are welcome to repeat the class more than once.
Linda Anderson, a regular ESL volunteer tutor, related, “In the small groups, students’ proficiency grows tremendously. There’s such a diverse group in each class, and there is always a lot of laughter. We have fun.”
All classes meet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Both the beginner and intermediate sections meet from 9-10:30 a.m., the intermediate group meets from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., and the multi-level discussion group meets from 5:30-7 p.m.
For more information about the classes, or if you are interested in working as a volunteer with the classes, call Jane Clements at 505.662.0338, email or visit
Margarita Lokhova works to improve her skills in reading, writing and conversation through the UNM-LA Adult Basic Education ESL class. Photos by Jane Clements, UNM-LA