Tuition-free English classes at the Coachella Library

Tuition-free English classes at the Coachella Library

Claudia Buccio

Residents across the Coachella Valley have a new opportunity to learn English as a second language (ESL). The city of Coachella and College of the Desert have joined forces to bring a special program to the community that will help them learn the language and excel in their professional life. Juanita Rodriguez is an ESL instructor at College of the Desert and will be teaching these courses at the Coachella library.

“They are going to learn the basic skills in speaking, writing, and listening,” Rodriguez said. “They can learn about our programs at College of the Desert, they can learn to participate in school with their children, and they can learn to apply for a job.”

Professor Rodriguez hopes her own journey as an ESL learner and now instructor will inspire her students to take advantage of this opportunity.

“When I learned English, a long time ago, like 50 years ago, I remember I thought I was never going to be able to write a sentence, I was never able to write, read a book in English,” she said.

Rodriguez said it is normal for students to feel intimidated by the language at first, but it is important to stay driven and motivated.

“Learn little by little, and once you get that, you get it, but don’t give up,” Rodriguez said.

All students have to do is take an English placement test and enroll in the class. ESL classes will be free but each semester students will be required to pay a $20 health and service fee. As a college student they will have access to the campuses’ language labs to further their skills.

“They have a lot of things they can listen [to],” Rodriguez said. “They also have small conversations, so they can practice.”

The foundation level class is scheduled to begin on January 28, 2019 from Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 11:50 am. College of the Desert will be hosting an event at their Indio campus on January 24, 2019 to help the community register and enroll in this course.