Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Report from the second Scarborough ESL Network Luncheon

The second Scarborough ESL Network Luncheon was held on Saturday May 10, 2008 at Agincourt Pentecostal Church. It was an intimate gathering of 12 people, with four different churches represented. We started at around 10:00 a.m. with a typical ESL warm-up activity: “Find someone who…” during which we mingled, chatted and laughed. After a time of worship and a brief introduction of SOCEM, Carolyn presented an excerpt from an article entitled “Beginning to Work with Adult English Language Learners: Some Considerations” (online version available here.) Those in attendance appreciated the practical tips in “instructional approaches”, and participated actively in the group discussions surrounding the points in this article that followed the presentation. After that, we were divided into different, smaller groups for sharing and prayer regarding our respective ESL ministries. These prompts were used:

A. Briefly introduce yourself, your church, the ESL class you lead and how you got involved in ESL ministry.

B. The most rewarding thing in my participation in ESL ministry is...

C. One of the challenges I face in this ministry is...

D. Our ministry serves God by...

E. Our students really enjoy...

F. One of my hopes concerning ESL ministry is…

This small group sharing time was enjoyable and encouraging whereby all shared freely about their experiences and prayed for one another. With people from different churches represented in each group, such sharing and prayer was especially valuable. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was talking a lot. Relationships were being built and we were truly “networking”! One concern that was shared, for example, involved how to share the gospel appropriately in an ESL class, or how to touch the students’ hearts and minds for Jesus while teaching English, a question that concerned all of us.

At 12:30 p.m. we enjoyed a delicious Chinese lunch ordered from a nearby restaurant, with all contributing to its cost. During and after the lunch we continued to talk, while some went to browse at the resource table where different teachers had brought in the books and materials they used for their classes. Almost all stayed until 1:45 p.m. before we dismissed.

As organizers, we were very encouraged by the involvement and eagerness the attendees showed. Even though we were small in number, we had a good mix of age, background and churches and we seemed to be fulfilling a need for support, encouragement and equipping in ESL in churches in the area. Comments from the attendee’s surveys included: “Very encouraging!”, “Enjoyed the time of prayer. Good to share and encourage teachers” and “So good to hear and share with people about every level of ESL teaching”. A request came from one church to join together for further ESL teacher training. We are hoping to keep in touch as a core group and expand our network to include more churches.

Jennifer Tong and Carolyn Chubb – SOCEM Board



Sunday, May 11, 2008

Summer ESL Teachers Wanted at First Alliance

If you have a heart to serve the Lord and to connect with immigrants then this is a great summer ministry for you. First Alliance Church will be conducting an 6-week summer ESL program beginning in July 2008. We are looking for 2 college/university students to teach. The student must be a follower of Jesus Christ and will have finished one year of college/university and expect to enter into another full year of college/university. This is a full-time ministry position with a stipend of $9.25/hr for a 40 hour work week. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Albert Lu at lu@firstalliancechurch.org or at 416-494-3269 x28. Deadline to apply is June 6th.