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Iowa Central’s English Language Learners celebrate end of semester

Students from Iowa Central Community College’s English Language Learner class enjoyed a festive end of semester celebration Thursday at Briggs Woods Park.

They shared food from their native countries, listened to music, played a game of volleyball and relaxed with other informal lawn games.

They also received awards for making gains on the CASA’s national testing curriculum, an assessment tool used by Iowa Central to measure English proficiency gains.

The end of semester event was a way of celebrating all of the hard work put in by the students during the current session and as an avenue for students to socialize and engage with each other outside of the classroom.

Iowa Central’s ELL program has locations in Webster City, Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge and Storm Lake.

The Webster City campus has 67 students currently enrolled.

Students come from Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Nicaragua.

Currently, two class levels are offered: beginner and advanced.

A third level to be offered during the new semester that begins in late July; it will support students as they transition from beginner to intermediate level studies.

The ELL classes use student ambassadors who volunteer their time on behalf of Iowa Central’s ELL classes to help promote the program. This summer, you can find the ambassadors at Fiesta Night Market Nights, in downtown Webster City on July 11 and August 1. They will help their instructors run the Iowa Central booth and help recruit new students by talking about the program and handing out informational flyers.

Students, ambassadors and teachers will also participate in the Hamilton County Fair Parade in late July.

Webster City ELL classes offer CASA-aligned, and computerized curriculum, as well as the use of textbooks. The lessons are individualized, and the topics are relevant to adult learners.

Students practice listening, speaking, reading, writing, dictation and pronunciation. A variety of interactive activities are utilized.

Once students test out of ELL, they have the opportunity to enroll in the Hiset (or GED) program and, from there, they may enroll in any number of Iowa Central programs.

The world opens before the students who attended classes this semester, and who made the decision to improve their English skills.

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