ESL Classes at a Distance

Photo of ESL student

When coronavirus precautions began to shut down almost every aspect of public life in our city, we were afraid that we would not be able to have our English as a Second Language (ESL) class. Our worst fears came true, but of course, we saw the necessity for staying at home. Nevertheless, our class has continued over Skype for the past month, and we have not missed a session since our isolation began. The students’ bravery, tenacity, and enthusiasm for learning are contagious. Allow me to introduce you to these shining stars. 

Yinxian, China: Yinxian has not been in our classes since returning to China last year, but she started joining our classes again last month over Skype. Her English is very advanced, and she is a prolific and gifted writer. 

Mohamed, Algeria: Mohamed is in Chattanooga as a Fulbright Scholar, and his departure back to his country has been delayed because of the virus. His specialty is electricity, and he owns an electric company in Algeria. 

Maritza, Ecuador: Maritza has been with us via Skype since last year, so this was a smooth transition for her. She began her career as a chemical engineer, but has recently earned a master’s in English and now teaches English in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her desire to continue honing her English skills is admirable. 

Janet, Colombia: Janet has a background as a respiratory therapist. She brings a lot of medical knowledge and insight to our classroom discussions. A resident of Cleveland, she does not miss the long commute to and from class and likes to sit on her screened-in porch while we have our class. 

Youry, Venezuela: Youry is a medical doctor, and we also value her medical insights in our class. She also brings a lovely personality to the group.  

Guillermo, Argentina: Guillermo, a children’s music teacher, plays tango on the piano and dances to this lush music, too.  

Katheryn, Chile: Katheryn comes from a family of bakers. She is a computer engineer who started a full-time job in her field here in Chattanooga this past January. She adores gardening and music.  

Chang and Cho, South Korea: Chang and his wife Cho are retired. Chang has had careers as both an architect and a missionary, and he spent time in multiple Asian countries, but mostly Kyrgyzstan. His love of both nature and words has resulted in his writing some poems this year. 

For our first online lesson, we talked about verbs related to eating. The day also happened to be Chang’s birthday, so at the end of the lesson, I put a candle in a soft granola bar, and we sang “The Birthday Song”. Because of that experience, Chang wrote the following poem.

Birthday celebration in love

by Chang, 2020

My 71st birthday celebration in ESL,
It was a birthday celebration in great love …

I. Love is what we are together:

People who left their hometown,
Strangers new to America,
Those people looking for friends…

ESL is a place where strangers can be friends,
ESL is a place to be together with love.
In the fellowship of ESL, I had a birthday party.

II. Love is acting together:
Many strange things to get through,
Hard things to dream and challenge,
Language itself is the first step in the challenge.

ESL opens the door to overcome challenges to reach dreams,
ESL is a place where you can be blessed in English.
In learning of hope in ESL,
I got a happy birthday love song …

III. Love is sharing together:
All days are intertwined with foreign life.
The day I laughed… I miss that day.
There is great joy in sharing small things.

As in bread and cards.. there are small sharings in ESL always,
ESL is a place to give love of sharing,
In the fellowship of ESL,
I got a birthday cake of love.

The ESL birthday celebration of love is to be remembered by me forever,
Thanks to Betsy and everyone.

We have more students in our regular, in-person ESL classes, but these are the ones who have been with us electronically during this isolation period. Additionally, Chang, Guillermo, Mohammed, Yinxian, Maritza, and Katheryn have participated in Toastmasters to further their general knowledge and English skills. 

Also joining us via Skype are Barbara and Sabrina. Barbara is my faithful assistant who works magic with these students, while Sabrina is a Covenant College student getting hours for her practicum. 

Since meeting online, we have talked about the virus, to be sure, but some of the questions that we have discussed are as follows: 

What was a time when you were afraid? 

What is your biggest struggle?

What are three things that make you happy?

You can see why working with the students is an immense joy and privilege. I am proud of them for continuing to learn, and we all take refuge in our friendship with each other provided by the class in this time.  We are happy to be continuing our ESL adventures!

– Betsy Chesney, ESL Instructor
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ESL Classes at a Distance

Photo of ESL student
When coronavirus precautions began to shut down almost every aspect of public life in our city, we were afraid that we would not be able to have our English as a Second Language (ESL) class. Our worst fears came true, but of course, we saw the necessity for staying at home. Nevertheless, our class has continued over Skype for the past month, and we have not missed a session since our isolation began. The students’ bravery, tenacity, and enthusiasm for learning are contagious. Allow me to introduce you to these shining stars. 

Yinxian, China: Yinxian has not been in our classes since returning to China last year, but she started joining our classes again last month over Skype. Her English is very advanced, and she is a prolific and gifted writer. 

Mohamed, Algeria: Mohamed is in Chattanooga as a Fulbright Scholar, and his departure back to his country has been delayed because of the virus. His specialty is electricity, and he owns an electric company in Algeria. 

Maritza, Ecuador: Maritza has been with us via Skype since last year, so this was a smooth transition for her. She began her career as a chemical engineer, but has recently earned a master’s in English and now teaches English in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her desire to continue honing her English skills is admirable. 

Janet, Colombia: Janet has a background as a respiratory therapist. She brings a lot of medical knowledge and insight to our classroom discussions. A resident of Cleveland, she does not miss the long commute to and from class and likes to sit on her screened-in porch while we have our class. 

Youry, Venezuela: Youry is a medical doctor, and we also value her medical insights in our class. She also brings a lovely personality to the group.  

Guillermo, Argentina: Guillermo, a children’s music teacher, plays tango on the piano and dances to this lush music, too.  

Katheryn, Chile: Katheryn comes from a family of bakers. She is a computer engineer who started a full-time job in her field here in Chattanooga this past January. She adores gardening and music.  

Cho, South Korea: He/she is retired….

Chang and Cho, South Korea: Chang and his wife Cho are retired. Chang has had careers as both an architect and a missionary, and he spent time in multiple Asian countries, but mostly Kyrgyzstan. His love of both nature and words has resulted in his writing some poems this year. 

For our first online lesson, we talked about verbs related to eating. The day also happened to be Chang’s birthday, so at the end of the lesson, I put a candle in a soft granola bar, and we sang “The Birthday Song”. Because of that experience, Chang wrote the following poem.

Birthday celebration in love

by Chang, 2020

My 71st birthday celebration in ESL,
It was a birthday celebration in great love …

I. Love is what we are together:

People who left their hometown,
Strangers new to America,
Those people looking for friends…

ESL is a place where strangers can be friends,
ESL is a place to be together with love.
In the fellowship of ESL, I had a birthday party.

II. Love is acting together:
Many strange things to get through,
Hard things to dream and challenge,
Language itself is the first step in the challenge.

ESL opens the door to overcome challenges to reach dreams,
ESL is a place where you can be blessed in English.
In learning of hope in ESL,
I got a happy birthday love song …

III. Love is sharing together:
All days are intertwined with foreign life.
The day I laughed… I miss that day.
There is great joy in sharing small things.

As in bread and cards.. there are small sharings in ESL always,
ESL is a place to give love of sharing,
In the fellowship of ESL,
I got a birthday cake of love.

The ESL birthday celebration of love is to be remembered by me forever,
Thanks to Betsy and everyone.

We have more students in our regular, in-person ESL classes, but these are the ones who have been with us electronically during this isolation period. Additionally, Chang, Guillermo, Mohammed, Yinxian, Maritza, and Katheryn have participated in Toastmasters to further their general knowledge and English skills. 

Also joining us via Skype are Barbara and Sabrina. Barbara is my faithful assistant who works magic with these students, while Sabrina is a Covenant College student getting hours for her practicum. 

Since meeting online, we have talked about the virus, to be sure, but some of the questions that we have discussed are as follows: 

What was a time when you were afraid? 

What is your biggest struggle?

What are three things that make you happy?

You can see why working with the students is an immense joy and privilege. I am proud of them for continuing to learn, and we all take refuge in our friendship with each other provided by the class in this time.  We are happy to be continuing our ESL adventures!

– Betsy Chesney, ESL Instructor
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Keep Reading

LibArt Live!

Secretary Hargett to Present $20k Tech Grant to Chattanooga Public Library.

ESL Classes at a Distance

Photo of ESL student
When coronavirus precautions began to shut down almost every aspect of public life in our city, we were afraid that we would not be able to have our English as a Second Language (ESL) class. Our worst fears came true, but of course, we saw the necessity for staying at home. Nevertheless, our class has continued over Skype for the past month, and we have not missed a session since our isolation began. The students’ bravery, tenacity, and enthusiasm for learning are contagious. Allow me to introduce you to these shining stars. 

Yinxian, China: Yinxian has not been in our classes since returning to China last year, but she started joining our classes again last month over Skype. Her English is very advanced, and she is a prolific and gifted writer. 

Mohamed, Algeria: Mohamed is in Chattanooga as a Fulbright Scholar, and his departure back to his country has been delayed because of the virus. His specialty is electricity, and he owns an electric company in Algeria. 

Maritza, Ecuador: Maritza has been with us via Skype since last year, so this was a smooth transition for her. She began her career as a chemical engineer, but has recently earned a master’s in English and now teaches English in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her desire to continue honing her English skills is admirable. 

Janet, Colombia: Janet has a background as a respiratory therapist. She brings a lot of medical knowledge and insight to our classroom discussions. A resident of Cleveland, she does not miss the long commute to and from class and likes to sit on her screened-in porch while we have our class. 

Youry, Venezuela: Youry is a medical doctor, and we also value her medical insights in our class. She also brings a lovely personality to the group.  

Guillermo, Argentina: Guillermo, a children’s music teacher, plays tango on the piano and dances to this lush music, too.  

Katheryn, Chile: Katheryn comes from a family of bakers. She is a computer engineer who started a full-time job in her field here in Chattanooga this past January. She adores gardening and music.  

Cho, South Korea: He/she is retired….

Chang and Cho, South Korea: Chang and his wife Cho are retired. Chang has had careers as both an architect and a missionary, and he spent time in multiple Asian countries, but mostly Kyrgyzstan. His love of both nature and words has resulted in his writing some poems this year. 

For our first online lesson, we talked about verbs related to eating. The day also happened to be Chang’s birthday, so at the end of the lesson, I put a candle in a soft granola bar, and we sang “The Birthday Song”. Because of that experience, Chang wrote the following poem.

Birthday celebration in love

by Chang, 2020

My 71st birthday celebration in ESL,
It was a birthday celebration in great love …

I. Love is what we are together:

People who left their hometown,
Strangers new to America,
Those people looking for friends…

ESL is a place where strangers can be friends,
ESL is a place to be together with love.
In the fellowship of ESL, I had a birthday party.

II. Love is acting together:
Many strange things to get through,
Hard things to dream and challenge,
Language itself is the first step in the challenge.

ESL opens the door to overcome challenges to reach dreams,
ESL is a place where you can be blessed in English.
In learning of hope in ESL,
I got a happy birthday love song …

III. Love is sharing together:
All days are intertwined with foreign life.
The day I laughed… I miss that day.
There is great joy in sharing small things.

As in bread and cards.. there are small sharings in ESL always,
ESL is a place to give love of sharing,
In the fellowship of ESL,
I got a birthday cake of love.

The ESL birthday celebration of love is to be remembered by me forever,
Thanks to Betsy and everyone.

We have more students in our regular, in-person ESL classes, but these are the ones who have been with us electronically during this isolation period. Additionally, Chang, Guillermo, Mohammed, Yinxian, Maritza, and Katheryn have participated in Toastmasters to further their general knowledge and English skills. 

Also joining us via Skype are Barbara and Sabrina. Barbara is my faithful assistant who works magic with these students, while Sabrina is a Covenant College student getting hours for her practicum. 

Since meeting online, we have talked about the virus, to be sure, but some of the questions that we have discussed are as follows: 

What was a time when you were afraid? 

What is your biggest struggle?

What are three things that make you happy?

You can see why working with the students is an immense joy and privilege. I am proud of them for continuing to learn, and we all take refuge in our friendship with each other provided by the class in this time.  We are happy to be continuing our ESL adventures!

– Betsy Chesney, ESL Instructor
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Twitter
Share on email
Email

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