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Popular English language sessions at Westfield Library have been reopened



Westfield, Indiana – Aiming to assist people in learning and increasing their English language proficiency, the Westfield Washington Public Library has announced the revival of its English Language Learners program.

This past week, 68 non-native speakers were welcomed to the free program.

Children’s Librarian Kim Wright, a driving force behind the program’s revival, said, “I love the diversity coming into our community. I see it in the people who visit the library. I have a heart for diversity and for the people who come here to start a new life and learn a new language.”

The English Language Learners program was first introduced in 2005, however, it was temporarily suspended because to the COVID-19 outbreak. The inhabitants who attend the sessions speak Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Slavic, Asian, and Indian languages, among other languages, reflecting the diversity of their linguistic roots.

“The classes are designed for various proficiency levels,” Wright said. “Participants are given a placement test that helps identify where they need to start in the program and every 12 weeks or so they move to a more advanced class.”

Students sixteen years of age and over are intended for the weekly 90-minute lessons. At the Westfield Washington Public Library, they are instructed by twelve English-speaking community volunteers.

“Our volunteers are currently teaching 14 classes,” Wright said. “Volunteers don’t need to speak the students’ language. They just need to be willing to lead a class through a series of workbooks.”

The classes are free thanks to sponsorship from the Westfield Library Foundation. Erin Downey, executive director of the Westfield Library Foundation, said, “Language is not just a tool, but a gateway to a world of opportunities and connections, and we’re proud to support this initiative.”

The autumn session is full, however, those who would like to know whether there are still seats available for future sessions can ask at the adult reference desk. January and February will see more placement exams, with the goal of holding a second session in March 2024.

Residents can get in touch with Wright at [email protected] if they would like to volunteer to teach English language learners.

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