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English as a Second Language

"Our church reaches out into the local Hispanic community. We found out that we are learning a great many things from them and it is a two-way exchange. They are teaching us the importance of relationships and hospitality, of which we busy Americans can use a good dose! It's happening just by being together night after night in our ESL classes."
   - Joanne
   Joanne's Page for ESL Teachers
   Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church

English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes are an excellent way for a church to provide a needed service and develop long-term relationships with new arrivals in their community.

ESL doesn't have to be a formal class. International students are eager to practice their English in conversation with Americans, so several churches in the Seattle area offer informal evenings of food, fun and conversation, in a program called Talk Time. For more information, visit speechtree.com for dozens of conversation starters and Talk Time topics.

Books for the ESL Classroom

Looking for Bible-based ESL materials? These books will help you teach your students the basics of English and the basics of Biblical faith at the same time. The books include teaching resources such as word lists at the end of each chapter, fill-in-the-blank exercises for students, answers to questions with additional scripture references, and tips for teaching ESL. The stars are readers' ratings from Amazon.com. No stars means the book had not been reviewed at the time of this writing. ( A portion of your purchases from Amazon help cover expenses of our ministry. Thank you!)

Handbook for Teaching Bible-Based ESL
by J. Wesley Eby
Beacon Hill Press (96 pages)

The Life of Jesus Christ (ESL Bible Study of Mark)
by J. Wesley Eby
Beacon Hill Press (88 pages)

Teachings of Jesus: Level 2 (ESL Bible Study)
by J. Wesley Eby
Beacon Hill Press (72 pages)

What Christians Believe (ESL Bible Study)
by J. Wesley Eby
Beacon Hill Press (56 pages)

How Christians Grow (ESL Bible Study)
by J. Wesley Eby
Beacon Hill Press (56 pages)

ESL : Creating a Quality English As a Second Language Program : A Guide for Churches
by Susan E. Burke
CRC Publications (102 pages)
Shows you step-by-step how your church can start an ESL program.

Learning English With the Bible: A Systematic Approach to Bible-Based English Grammar
by Louise M. Ebner.
AMG Publishers (163 pages)

English in Action
by Wally Cirafesi and Toni Summers
Nav Press
This Christian-based ESL series includes the English in Action Teacher's Manual (136 pages) and English in Action Student Workbook (136 pages).

"Be flexible and teachable. You will learn much and receive untold blessings from God. By being more than a teacher and becoming a real friend, you will build the bridge of trust so that Christ can cross into their hearts."
   - Nancy Zumwalt
   coauthor of Handbook for Teaching Bible-Based ESL

Books for Teachers

The Gift of the Stranger: Faith, Hospitality, and Foreign Language Learning
by David I. Smith and Barbara M. Carvill
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co

A Year In the Life of an ESL Student: Idioms and Vocabulary You Can't Live Without
by Edward J. Francis
Trafford Publishing

Easy & Engaging ESL Activities and Mini-Books for Every Classroom
by Kama Einhorn
Instructor Books

Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults
by Jane Vella
Publisher: Jossey-Bass

American Idioms and Some Phrases Just for Fun : An ESL Meaning and Usage Workbook
by Edward Swick

Contains both practice exercises and tests.

Teaching English As a Foreign or Second Language:
A Self-Development and Methodology Guide

by Jerry G. Gebhard
Univ of Michigan Press

ESL Teacher's Activities Kit
by Elizabeth Claire
Prentice Hall Trade

101 Bright Ideas: ESL Activities for All Ages
by Claire Maria Ford
Addison-Wesley Pub Co.

The ESL Teacher's Book of Lists
by Jacqueline E., Ed.D.
Center for Applied Research in Education

Ready-To-Use Flannel Board Stories, Figures and Activities for ESL Children
by Elizabeth Krepelin and Bonnie Mae Smith
Center for Applied Research in Education

English Teaching As Christian Mission: An Applied Theology
by Donald B. Snow
Herald Press

Making It Happen:
Interaction in the Second Language Classroom

by Patricia A. Richard-Amato
Addison-Wesley Pub Co.

The Idiom Advantage: Fluency in Speaking and Listening
by Dana Watkins
Addison-Wesley Pub Co.

Interested in Taking Classes to Become an ESL Teacher?

Literacy and Evangelism International
(LEI) has developed a Bible-based ESL curriculum geared for use by lay volunteers you can purchase on their site. They also offer The International Literacy Training Institute, a comprehensive six-week literacy training event held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, every June and July.

The Institute for Cross-Cultural Training offers TESOL courses to prepare ESL teachers, including degree programs.

Creative Ministry Ideas

Books teaching children English, Spanish and other languages

Children's Bibles in many languages

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