By CHASITY GUILLEN
Every year, 300 students learn English at Amarillo College. According to AC officials, more than half of the students who take English as a Second Language classes go on to graduate from the college with a certificate or degree.
The students in the ESL program come from Myanmar, formerly Burma, China, Columbia, Mexico and Thailand. Students who successfully complete all four levels of the ESL program receive a certificate of completion that allows them to pursue additional programs of study at the college, according to the AC website.
“My English isn’t the best, but the staff here have helped me a lot with learning how to pronounce some words,” Carmita Carrasco, an ESL student from Honduras, said.“Learning a new language is hard, but having a program like this at school helps me get through my college career.”
ESL instructor, Mary Perez said the classes cover multiple areas. “This program helps students learn English in reading, writing, listening and speaking so that they can learn the language better in different ways,” Perez said. “This program helps students still meet their college goals even though they can’t speak English very well.”
Currently, AC offers two ESL classes. Morning classes start Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Evening classes are Monday-Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8:25 p.m.
To apply for the program, potential students will need their driver’s license and Social Security number. They will also need a form of verification in order to start the pre-assessment process such as a government ID, license, birth certificate, passport or other form of ID.