BenU at Mesa English program open to Spanish-speaking community

September 17, 2015

Mesa, Ariz. ~ Benedictine University at Mesa is launching a series of free English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction and community workshops to provide parents of Hispanic college students and the greater community with the tools they need to communicate more effectively in English.

The University’s newly established Academy of Language Acquisition and Success offers practical English language lessons in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Participants will practice useful, everyday vocabulary in both large groups and in smaller learning centers with an emphasis on some of the following topics:

• Common English words, phrases and expressions

• Giving and receiving directions

• Phone conversations

• Ordering food and asking for help in stores

• Conversing with clients, work colleagues and neighbors

The University will also open a “Kids Corner” activities area staffed by college students to accommodate children ages 2-12 whose parents are participating in the workshops.

Benedictine University at Mesa made the decision to provide language instruction to the Mesa community after consulting with its students, many of whom are Hispanic first-generation college students and have parents or guardians who primarily speak Spanish. The students expressed an interest in helping their parents and other Spanish speakers to learn more practical English skills so that they could better assimilate into the University and the community in which they live.

“We believe offering a University-sponsored ESL program will be an incredibly valuable and rewarding service that we can provide to the greater Mesa community,” said Kevin Broeckling, associate vice president for University Services and Student Life at BenU at Mesa. “This is another way for us as a University to live out the Benedictine values of hospitality and what it means to be an active member of a community. It’s about being concerned for the well-being of every individual within your community and asking yourself how you can best leverage your talents to help others.”

Sessions are open to the general public and will be held from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Gillett Hall, 225 E. Main St., in downtown Mesa. Sessions are currently scheduled for Saturdays, September 26, October 10 and 24, November 7 and 21, and December 5.

Participants are welcome to drop by for a session but are encouraged to register in advance by contacting (602) 888-5500 or mesasuccesscenter@ben.edu.

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 Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No.2 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2003-2013 in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America’s Top Colleges" for the fifth consecutive year in 2015.

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