Judi Whilden: Integrated Community provides valuable service

— To the editor:

Integrated Community is doing just what it is supposed to be doing — teaching English to adults whose first language is not English.

Using the phrase, “English as a Second Language,” is not their terminology. It is a phrase used by many. It means a person who speaks a language other than English is attending a class whose purpose is to teach them English. Integrated Community offers a wonderful opportunity for Moffat and Routt residents to learn English in an environment that supports their needs and allows a relatively relaxed format that makes an adult learner more comfortable and ready to learn.

As a volunteer for this program, I assist the teacher in helping with English pronunciation. The emphasis is speaking English.

The teacher starts each class with a reminder to not only “speak” in English but to “think” in English. The students’ final project was to do a presentation about themselves in English.

I am perplexed that someone would write a negative comment on a program that they have never visited firsthand.

I welcome that person to attend a class, perhaps even volunteer some time and help their fellow community members, who are willing to make the effort, to learn the language of the place where they live.

On a personal note, I have been taking Spanish classes for more than a year, and I know firsthand how hard it is to learn a new language as an adult.

I applaud those students who attempt to learn English and I recognize the challenges they face when they choose to live in an English-speaking community.

Judi Whilden

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