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Williston State College to offer English language course

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Posted by Roxane Molinari

WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College is pleased to announce the addition of an English Language Learners (ELL) course which is intended to help non-native speakers communicate effectively in daily life.

Classes will begin March 22 and run for eight weeks to May 12. It will be a three credit hour course, meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 104 (Adult Learning Center) of Stevens Hall. It will be offered as an ASC 067 level with a pass/fail grade only.

With the influx of people coming to work in Williston, whether it be in the oilfield or at local businesses, the college saw a need for this course.

"When I got to the college, there were a lot of requests for English classes for non-native speakers," said WSC President Dr. Raymond Nadolny. "As we've seen a growing population of non-native speakers come into the community, we wanted to make sure we provided this learning experience which benefits both our community and local businesses."

"One company in Williston has a number of Turkish employees who have brought their wives and children with them," said Dr. Pamela Gardner, Dean for Instruction and Distance Education at WSC. "A number of the wives have been attending Adult Basic Education here at WSC to learn English. Certainly with the influx of oilfield workers, we are seeing some ethnic minorities represented."

Another reason for implementing the ELL class is that WSC has an agreement with Kokusai Junior College, which is located in Tokyo, Japan. "They will be sending students here for language instruction, other classes and for a cultural exchange," Gardner said.

Laurel Kaae, Director of the Adult Education program at WSC, said that the structure of the course will be determined by the needs of the students.

"Depending on who comes and what level they're at with their ability to speak English, we'll do some work together and some work individually," she said.

Gardner said that while they will focus on their language skills, they also want to help the students become acclimated to the culture of North Dakota and the cultural differences of the United States. "We will be listening, speaking, writing, and will have interaction and activities that will focus on a higher comfort level in the area."

"We will try to incorporate some fun activities that they can use in the community," Kaae said.

"We want it to be fun as well as educational," Gardner added.

Students wanting to take the course will need a certain level of proficiency with the English language to qualify for this class, Gardner added. "If they do not quality for this class, then they would be referred to the Adult Learning Center for some no-credit classes."

She said that successful completion of this class will be a prerequisite to other classes that the college would like to add to its curriculum in the future.

"When looking at the community, we see a big potential for this program," said Steve Grunenwald, Department Chair of the Arts and Human Sciences and an English instructor at WSC. "Our hope is that many will take advantage of this opportunity."

Students wanting to take the course will need to go through the regular registration process for admission to the college. Information and forms can be found on the WSC website, www.willistonstate.edu, or contact Laurel Kaae at the Adult Learning Center, 572-5886, or the WSC Admissions office at 774-4210.