Imacula Alfredo is an English as a Second Language (ESL) student at Southwestern and she describes her first semester experience with one word: “scary.” She was scared of the fact that she knew no one in the classroom and she couldn’t understand what the teacher was saying.
Learning a new language is a perfect mix of happiness and frustration. You’re happy because you are learning to communicate, able to create new relationships with people from all over the world, and you discover how magical language can be.
“But sometimes I get frustrated because all I want to do is write in English and I simply can’t,” says Alfredo.
Is the struggle worth it? Definitely yes! “I’ve gained so much independence. Before I was afraid to go out alone, but now I can even order a Subway sandwich,” Alfredo says.
The way the ESL program is structured provided another benefit. Every Monday through Thursday, Alfredo looks forward to the 10 a.m. worship service in Evans Hall.
“This program has given me opportunities to become closer to Christ and I thank Him for that,” says Alfredo, smiling. She enjoys listening to devotions by Monica Kowarsch, director of ESL, and has had the opportunity to pray in front of her classmates. Learning English may be hard at times, but she enjoys discovering every little word and conjugating verbs she never knew existed.
“Coming to Southwestern to learn English was the best choice I could have made.”
Imacula Alfredo, ESL, 2016