To cater to an estimated number of 300 English as a Second Language (ESL) students representing 63 countries, MCC boasts a strong ESL program with new courses coming next semester that underline the use of idioms in everyday life.
Kathryn Sheffield has been working at MCC since 2002, and as an ESL coordinator, she knows the ins and outs of what the program has to offer.
“We’re looking at opening up a set of four one-credit courses, one for each level of the ESL program, called idiomatic English to help students with the idioms that they find everyday … We’re going to focus on the oral use of the idioms to also address the idea of pronunciation,” Sheffield said.
The reason for the courses being one-credit can be traced back to the tuition hike which the Governing Board deemed necessary in March. As a valuable skill to learn, being one-credit makes the idiomatic English courses affordable to ESL students, according to Sheffield.
Besides the new courses, the ESL program has a lineup of events that aim to improve the college experience and open up opportunities, one of which is the ESL Student Success Conference. The focal point of the conference is to communicate everything that MCC has in store, from scholarships and honor society to clubs and service learning, to ESL students.
Being held in the ninth week of class every semester for the last four years, the conference also presents something unique where conversations and experience pave the way for learning, as students and faculty share stories about themselves.
Next up on the list is Conversation Café, which ESL students can partake in every Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the International Education Office. It’s a place where exchanging tidbits and customs of one’s culture takes the spotlight. It offers ESL students a whole new set of knowledge and information that they can’t find in the classrooms.
Moreover, the International Education Office sponsors the International Student Association, which is a club open to international and ESL students, providing an opportunity to learn from and make friends with students from different countries.
On top of that, there is a potluck at the end of every semester.
“We usually have it outdoor by the Kirk Center … You have food from all over the world. Everybody tries everything, so we look forward to that every semester,” Sheffield said. “The ESL faculty thinks that we have a really good program. We love our students and we love what we do, and we just hope it keeps growing.”