The department of Language and Literature at Oklahoma Christian University meets the needs of workers who speak English as a second language. ESL classes are designed to benefit employers and workers in a way that equips non-English speakers to maintain employment.
Workers from all nationalities meet at different locations to learn conversational English and terms that help them on the job.
Small classes of no more than ten students meet weekly at four different locations for We Speak: Britton Road, Capitol Hill and South Walker Churches of Christ and on the OC campus.
We Speak volunteers teach conversational skills and terminology specific to an ESL learner's work environment. Classes bend around students' work schedules and teachers offer quality instruction.
Classes began in 2006 as a unique effort to meet the needs of adult immigrant workers and their employers. Starting on OC’s campus with mid-day meetings, the program launched under the name Literacy Lunches. Teachers met with some members of the campus maintenance staff during their lunch breaks and offered conversational English instruction. The program expanded to include multiple locations and a diverse workforce who needed evening classes that better fit with job schedules. Literacy Lunches evolved into the new name, We Speak.
The English classes are free to students who incur only a small text book cost. Grant funding covers training for the volunteer teachers and subsidizes textbook costs for the students. Over the years, Literacy Lunches has received grant funding from community partners such as Oklahoma City Community Foundation, The Bowers Foundation, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Oklahoma Literacy Coalition and Tinker Federal Credit Union.
The program is coordinated by Dr. Gail Nash, Professor of Language and Literature and advisor for OC's degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and TEFL Certification.
Students, volunteers, employers and donors can become a part of We Speak by contacting Dr. Nash. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 405.425.5345.