Reflection From Teaching an ESL Class

Over the past month at KCB I have been given the opportunity to begin an English conversation class for primarily the women with young children of Bellflower. At first this venture was frustrating, facing the great challenge of learning how to best help these women learn and practice English, oftentimes with few to no women attending the class. After the second week, in which no one showed up, I was ready to give up. I began to really doubt my abilities and my purpose in teaching this class. But God had a purpose for this class far better than my purpose and in the weeks that followed He began to reveal to me the importance of this class.

Many of the women who began to attend in the weeks that followed and still continue to attend are eager to improve their English. Some desire to be able to communicate with their children’s teachers, to find jobs, or just to be able to interact with people they encounter around the city. The interesting thing I’ve learned is that while many of these women understand and speak a lot of English, they struggle to have confidence in their abilities. Several of the women shared with me that they feel self-conscious about their accent and are worried that people won’t understand them or may make fun of them. As an English-speaking student learning Spanish, I can completely relate as I struggle with the same insecurities and anxieties!

God truly equipped me not only with the technical ability to teach but also with the understanding and relatability necessary to allow these women to feel comfortable practicing their English and asking questions when something may be unclear. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 9:8, which says “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” In prayerfully dedicating time to do the work of the Lord, He takes our feelings of inadequacy and equips us to accomplish His purposes.

Miranda Starbeck, Spring Intern