Our purpose for English classes is three-fold:
- To meet an expressed need for English courses in the community.
- To study the bible in people’s first language and in English.
- To build relationships with people.
The English Classes project is directed by ICDI missionary Bridget Abbott. She has a master’s degree in education and a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate. Since 2015 she has been giving English lessons in Costa Rica. Before that she spent 15 years teaching in public schools and home school settings.
Bridget talks about the project: Teaching English is so much fun and I love my students! God gives me creative ideas that make our weekly meetings a joy. Many thanks to those who support the English Classes and have volunteered with me.
Why teach English? When Paul and I began living at Emmanuel Center a Cabécar family stopped by to visit. Over coffee the mother asked me if I would teach English to her four-year-old. I was surprised, knowing that the children study both Cabécar and Spanish in school. Now I realize that parents see English as a means to open doors to their children’s future. It enables them to earn a high school diploma, it could mean employment or studying at the university, and much of the information on the internet is in English. Also, there are not enough qualified English teachers in Costa Rica to staff the schools in rural regions like ours.
Where are your classes? I have been invited to start English classes in four communities: Bajo del Pacuare, Paso Marcos, Santubal, and Grano de Oro. In addition to my regular weekly classes, I sometimes tutor students who are studying English in high school.
Who are your students? My students range in age from five years old to adults and speak Spanish or Cabécar as their first language.
Do you teach alone? Usually I teach alone, but occasionally visitors accompany me to do special activities. It means the students hear other native English speakers and work in smaller groups with more time to talk.
One week a short term mission team helped me with an after school English Camp. It was in a community where I am not able to teach weekly classes. The parents were so happy to see their children practice their English!
What are donations used for? Donate to English Classes and the funds enable us to:
- Purchase elementary teaching materials
- Offer a high school or adult student a scholarship to pay for class fees and books. The class fee is $1 per week and the books are $20 per year. ($20 is equivalent to a day’s wage in our region of Costa Rica.)
- Enable the director of the English Classes project to take continuing education courses.