New technology for ESL

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Accelerated English comes to Centralia College

Washington State and Lewis County have large and rapidly growing communities of immigrants from around the world. To address some of the language hurdles they face, Centralia College has teamed up with other technical and community colleges throughout the state to offer the first ever Integrated Digital English Acceleration (I-DEA) program this year.

Funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the I-DEA program offers accelerated, practical learning of English. Unlike traditional learning, students learn English in tandem with a wide variety of job and life skills, better preparing them for life in the United States.

“Students going through this program learn important skills to help make them more successful in and out of the classroom,” explained ESL Program Coordinator Judith Aguilar. “What surprises them the most is how important learning computer skills are to that process.”

Using team teaching, this 30-week program helps students become more employable, more productive at their present jobs, or prepare for college. While in the program, students have full use of a laptop with internet access to study at home. They then practice those skills with other students in the classroom.

“It’s exciting to see students realize they can achieve much more than they first thought they could when entering the program,” said Aguilar. “Their dreams and goals expand for an even brighter future for them and their families.”

Students must attend an orientation to sign up. Beginning Jan. 5 orientations are held every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per quarter, with waivers available for low income students. Day and evening classes are available on the Centralia College campus.

IDEA Program Brochure

For more information call Judith Aguilar at 360-736-9391 ext. 696

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