Learning English as a Second Language

9 years 10 months 3 weeks ago November 08, 2006 Nov 8, 2006 Wednesday, November 08 2006 Wednesday, November 08, 2006 7:18:19 PM CST in News

"I like to have friends, but not knowing English limits me," Ana said.

That's why she attends the English program that Douglass High School offers for adults.

"These classes are very interesting, very entertaining. You lose the fear of speaking English," she added. "It gives you confidence that, if they don't understand you the first time, they will understand you the second or the third time, but they have to understand you."

The program has students from 30 countries, although one group stands out in Dan Murphy's class.

"In the evening, I get many more Hispanics," he said.

Unlike Ana, not all Hispanics could complete their education in their native countries.

"Some have six, eight, nine grade years of school in their home country," Murphy said.

Now, learning English is their goal.

"The biggest motivation is employment and to get a better job," Murphy explained.

"English is indispensable for everything, mostly for jobs and to excel," added student Juan Carlos Cruz.

"Speaking English, you have a broader future," said student Bartolo Santana Mora.

Ana, Juan Carlos and Bartolo attend class four times each week.

"It is more easy to understand it than talking it because, when it is time to use verbs, the present, the past, I get all mixed up," Ana admitted. "And while I think of it in Spanish translated into English, there comes the confusion. That is why I decided to come and study here. What I like the most about the classes is the group that comes together, we all want the same."

Centro Latino in north Columbia also offers English classes on Sundays.

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