Texas churches reach out with classes in English as a second language
|Project Light provides Bible-based English lessons via computer.|
Immigrants in Texas have more opportunities to learn English now that five United Methodist churches have completed training for Bible-based classes in English as a Second Language (ESL).
Members from the churches in the Northwest Texas and New Mexico conferences are sharing their faith while helping meet a need as ESL waiting lists and class size continue to grow across the country.
In April, the Northwest Texas Conference sponsored training in an ESL program called Project Light at First United Methodist Church of Big Spring. United Methodist churches from Dumas, Lamesa, Lubbock and Alpine also participated.
Project Light uses a computer-based curriculum developed by Christian Literacy Associates. Most of the lessons include scriptures from a limited vocabulary Bible, The New Life Translation.
“The neat thing about Project Light is that lesson plans describe everything you need to do,” said Orby Brooks, coordinator of Project Light for the Northwest Texas Conference. “It takes you from not being able to read English to a fifth-grade reading level in 18 months.”
Brooks and Mary Grace Regier have directed Project Light at Dumas First United Methodist Church for the last three years. They attended Project Light training in Birmingham, Ala., but instructors will travel to other locations if enough churches sign up, Brooks said.
“We will be adding Spanish (classes) in the fall,” said Brooks, who plans to use a program called Rosetta Stone (www.rosettastone.com).
For more information, call Brooks at (806) 935-7594, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the Project Light Web site at www.projectlightint.org.
—Adapted from a story in the Northwest Texas Conference Review (www.nwtxconf.org).
CUT Project Light provides Bible-based English lessons via computer.