Frazer Church needs more volunteers to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). The church wants to add ESL courses to meet the growing demand for ESL instruction.

A volunteer information meeting is scheduled for August 30 at 6:30 p.m. in room 8210 of the church. Frazer ESL leaders estimate that more than 1,000 people have been helped through ESL classes, which began in 2003.

Frazer Missions minister Elizabeth Drollette and ESL lay leader Gary Cochran guide the growing ministry.

Volunteers include teachers, teaching assistants and those who help with registration and testing, Cochran said, adding that while helpful, experience is not required to volunteer.

“We place inexperienced people with experienced teachers, so training continues throughout the year,” he said.

ESL classes are held Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. starting Sept. 6 and will run like a school year with breaks during holiday weeks, Drollette said.

While experience isn’t required to volunteer, teaching experience is very helpful, Cochran said. “You don’t have to know a foreign language either. We only speak English on Tuesday evenings,” he said.

He explained that there are five different classes; two pre-beginners, a beginner, an intermediate and an advanced. “There is a main teacher in each class with two to four assistant teachers. There are plans to expand this year to three pre-beginner classes and two beginner classes,” he said.

He said volunteers need to be enthusiastic, willing to serve, listen, understand and embrace the ministry aspects of ALS. “And a really big smile. The smile is the universal language,” he said.

He said there was always a need for new volunteers. “We want the ministry to be sustainable. We always need new assistant teachers so that they can learn from experienced teachers and are able to step in as a leader if the need arises,” he said.

Classes are very important to help students learn a new language and assimilate into a new culture. “Our teachers develop relationships with their students over the course of a year and through these relationships, students have a much better understanding of their new country,” he said. “They are responsive. We provide free weekly lessons and a monthly dinner. They buy their own books if they want to have one.

Frazer sees ESL as another avenue of ministry to bring people to church and to Christ.

“Over 50% of our students don’t go to church or aren’t Christians. For some of them it is their first time entering a church,” he said. “We make Christ known to our students through regular devotions and through the relationships they have developed with their teachers.”

Drollette said Frazer conducts community outreach to connect with anyone interested in learning English. “We run these classes for free once a week and also offer free childcare. The need is for teachers as well as people to help with student registration and testing,” she said.

Volunteer training will take place in room 8120, which is located upstairs at the John Ed Mathison Activity Center (JEMAC) on the Frazer campus.