By Mark Ambrogi
A Carmel Friends Church program wants to help teach conversational English to those with different ethnic backgrounds.
Senior Pastor Keith Glasgow said Cynthia Stafford, a church member, will coordinate the Let’s Talk program. The free program will be run at 10 a.m. Saturdays beginning Sept. 3.
“In my two previous churches in Australia we’ve done a similar thing, because in Northern Australia there are a lot of immigrants coming in from other countries,” said Glasgow, a native of Australia. “There are a lot of people who have moved into Carmel with different ethnic backgrounds. A lot of them are professional people but they have their parents and others who are here that don’t speak much English. We can’t run an ESL (English as Second Language) class here because we don’t have qualified people do that, but we can run conversational English, which is a very relaxed (atmosphere).”
Glasgow, who has been at the church, 651 W. Main St., for two years, said the program is run with a table host with three or four guests.
“The table host then talks about everyday things,” Glasgow said. “The host might produce a picture and point to something, say what do you see and get a conversation going. Then gently correct, the emphasis on gently, where the pronunciation or grammar is not correct to help them develop their English skills.”
Glasgow said the church sees the program as a service to the community.
“Part of our vision statement is to reach out into the community to all the different ethnic groups,” Glasgow said. “It’s in line with what we love to do.”
Glasgow said Stafford is a qualified teacher with a desire to help others learn to speak English. Several members of the church have volunteered to help.
Glasgow said the program will run until Christmas. At that point, he said it will be determined whether or not to continue it through the winter or take a break until spring.
There is no registration, but guests can sign up at the first visit.