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5 Reasons to Teach an ESL class

Updated on June 3, 2013
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Live, Learn, Teach

Last year our local community center started to teach English as a Second Language classes. When I first heard about thee classes I volunteered to help. While on the surface it seemed like a good idea on the first day of class I was terrified.

Here I was in a room with a ten people who spoke very little of the English language. I tried to communicate but only received smiles in return. The people at the tables could not understand much of what I was saying. Still I stuck it out and continued to help and teach the lessons. In additions to teaching the lessons I learned a few things.

Reason 1

Teaching an ESL class helps people learn a lot about other cultures and people. Most of the people in the ESL class were Hispanic but each of them were from different countries. There were also a couple of people from Romania, Egypt and one from Syria. It was amazing to sit there an listen to them talk about their home countries.

Reason 2

Teaching and ESL helps people to develop a deeper appreciation of other cultures. They say you don't understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. As I learned about each of the students in the class I and learned to walk in their shoes I found the people were no different then me. They all had hopes and dreams for themselves and their families. Some of their hopes and dreams were the same as mine.

Reason 3

Teaching as ESL class creates new friendships. After teaching the classes for a few months I discovered something I never expected to happen. I not only had ESL students, I found some new friends. Each of the people at the tables became more then just people I was teaching. They became people who I looked forward being with and spending time with. I enjoyed the smiles and the welcomes I received as they walked in the door.

Reason 4

Teaching an ESL class helps you discover you're doing something that matters. The people who come to ESL classes are there because they want to learn the English language in order to change their lives. Some of them want better jobs. Some of them just want to just be understood better. As you teach them to read, write and speak English better you discover you are helping to make a difference in their lives. You are doing something that matters.

Reason 5

You discover you can learn. Teaching ESL classes not help others to learn but it also helps you to learn many new things. I am learning how to speak a little Spanish. I am also learning words in other languages as well as improving my English as well. In the end however the biggest thing I have learned is that when you put your mind into it there is nothing you cannot do.

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So my advice to you is to get out there and find an ESL class where you can help. If there isn't one around try to find someplace where you can volunteer to help others, it will change your life.

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