Boca Helping Hands Offers Virtual ESOL Class to Help Clients Expand Language Skills

The six-week virtual course is part of the nonprofit’s Professional Development Program

As part of its Professional Development Program to enhance the skillset of the community to improve job prospects, Boca Helping Hands is offering a six-week virtual “English to Speakers of Other Languages” (ESOL) class.

The Intermediate ESOL Practice begins July 21 to help participants build fluency through spontaneous discussion as well as viewing and discussing videos about everyday topics. Attendees will also engage in writing activities to enhance vocabulary and learn about grammar and structure to become more fluent in English.

Since starting the ESOL program in 2014, the class has helped nearly 500 participants enhance their English language knowledge. Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a nonprofit organization assisting over 27,000 people every year through its programs that provide food, education, job training and medical and financial assistance.

“As a resource-based agency, it is imperative that we continue to find ways to match our community’s needs adequately,” says Trina Chin Cheong, BHH Director of Programs. “This class gives Boca Helping Hands yet another opportunity to meet those needs by providing engaging and meaningful English learning opportunities.”

The course, which is open to Palm Beach residents with a personal computer and Zoom and online access, will be taught by volunteer Lisa Talley (pictured). Talley received training on the Intermediate course by Victoria Navaratte, who designed the Survival English (beginner’s ESOL) course that launched earlier in 2021.

“This program will allow them to build and practice these skills in a relaxed environment where they can experiment with and make mistakes in English with no negative consequences,” Navarrete says. “When they use their new language skills outside of the classroom, they will be confident in their communication abilities and will have strategies for dealing with new situations that arise in those contexts.”

In addition to the ESOL classes, Boca Helping Hands has also established an ongoing virtual program called “Conversation Café” which is available to interested participants of all levels to provide an opportunity to practice English in a casual and conversational setting.

To register for the Intermediate ESOL Practice course or Conversation Café, please visit bocahelpinghands.org/ESOL

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