Last Saturday, 23 guests from 14 different churches and organizations came out to KIN’s Quarterly ESL Roundtable Brunch. ESL teachers and others with a passion for ESL (English as a Second Language) Education began arriving around 9am on July 18th, greeted by the smell of fresh coffee and scrumptious bagels and fruit.
This group of individuals attended, representing multiple denominations and various ESL settings, and collaborated for a common purpose: to share the latest information and teaching techniques from the realm of ESL, and to learn best practices from one another.
Dr. Jim Hamrick from the University of Tennessee’s English Language Institute (ELI) stepped up as the first guest speaker and acquainted the group with the ELI. Dr. Hamrick has been involved in ESL Education for over 30 years, serving as a teacher in Japan and China and a trainer in Poland and Saudi Arabia. Now serving as the director of the ELI at UT, Dr. Hamrick shared some of the history and DNA of the English Language Institute with our group. Many ESL teachers in KIN’s network serve in church-based ESL ministries, so Dr. Hamrick’s insight into Intensive English Programs (IEPs) such as the ELI was extremely informative.
Next, Ms. Sandra Fugate from UT’s Center for Literacy, Education and Employment (CLEE) shared Adult ESL information and resources with our guests. Sandra just retired on June 30th, having served as the English for Students of Other Languages (ESOL) Program Coordinator for CLEE for 10 years and having a wealth of knowledge and experience with ESL Education. Sandra even held a raffle-style drawing with our guests to share resource materials! The room buzzed with excitement as our guests anticipated whose name would be drawn from the basket next.
On behalf of Knoxville Internationals Network, I would like to thank Dr. Jim Hamrick and Ms. Sandra Fugate for adeptly representing two facets of ESL Education at UT. I would also like to thank all of our guests for attending and bringing energy and thought-provoking questions! Thank you all for a fantastic morning. See you at the next ESL Roundtable Brunch!