ESL students diversify SLCC

English as a Second Language (ESL) 1010: College Listening and Speaking, taught Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. in Room 2-164 at the South City Campus by Kathy McIntyre, is one of several ESL classes this semester.

Students in the class come from countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Bosnia, China, India, Mexico and Nepal.

“It’s like taking a trip around the world every day. I love interacting with people from different cultures, and teaching ESL is the next best thing to traveling,” says McIntyre. She has been teaching ESL at SLCC for 30 years.

Many of the students plan to stay here permanently either to study a major in school once their English in sufficient or to take advantage of other opportunities available in the U.S.

Franklin Minzaki, who comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been in the U.S. for four years and plans to stay.

“I like it here; I have no complaints,” says Minzaki who is interested in studying computers and communications.

Ahmed Noori, who has been here only four months and also plans to stay, attributes some of his fluency in English to his being able to pick up parts of the language from U.S. soldiers stationed in his past home country of Iraq.

Wei Xiong from China is an international student who has been here about a year and wishes to be able to speak English fluently and get his master’s degree in business before returning to China.

McIntyre’s class is a Level 4 college preparatory ESL class, meaning students are expected to be able to speak English fluently in a college setting upon completion.

“I am totally awed by what some of them have had to overcome and by the current and future obstacles they still face and will overcome,” says McIntyre.