Program Profile – English As a Second Language

Sharo Laiza Martinez and Linda Anahy Montaño, Liga MAC educational support program students enrolled in Liga MAC’s ESL (English as a Second Language) program have nothing but good to say about the volunteer led program. They find the volunteer facilitators friendly, kind, and patient and the program interactive and fun.

Both students have found online learning during the past two years difficult remarking that public school online teaching abilities are inconsistent and sometimes non-existent with some teachers assigning and receiving projects via email and never making contact with students.

School English classes are often grammar based using course vocabulary only. And because assignments were not monitored many students defaulted to Google Translate to complete the work! However, recently, English classes together with other non-core subjects have been removed from the public school curriculum due to staffing and funding issues.

Liga MAC’s ESL program was faced with its own set of issues and solutions. Facilitators realized initially that “face-to-face” Zoom calls between individual students and facilitators, often in different countries, worked quite well. However, when introducing English to younger students, the Zoom format was problematic. This school year, with classes still being conducted remotely, ESL facilitators have decided for the second year in a row to work with senior students only.

Nancy Wayne
Liga MAC 2019 ESL Edition
Max Samson
Liga MAC’s 2019 ESL Edition
Kristin Brown
Liga MAC’s 2019 ESL Edition

Last year Liga MAC’s volunteer ESL facilitator Max Samson and program co-ordinator Nancy Wayne were determined to create a workable Zoom ESL program to ensure that at least senior students would not lose their abilities in English and their enthusiasm, passion and energy continue to drive this year’s program.

Kristin Brown, a professional ESL teacher from California and Liga MAC volunteer, helped to create the assessment tool and, along with the team of facilitators, interviewed candidates via What’s App for the 2022 Liga MAC ESL program.

Sharo, a Grade 12 student enrolled in the Hospitality Program at Conalep High School and Linda, a Grade 11 student enrolled in a computer servicing program at Cecyt-07 High School, were interviewed by Kristin and accepted into the program.

The ESL program has completely changed the way both girls view English and online learning. Both have found that facilitators encourage students to speak with confidence. Sharo remarked that she feels “motivated, comfortable, and able to listen for correct pronunciation”.

Linda, a self motivated learner who watched online English tutorials and YouTube videos to improve her English prior to her assessment, particularly impressed Kristin with her perfect diction! Both girls are very excited to participate in the ESL classes and feel as though the facilitators treat them like friends and equals.

And finally as a testament to the importance of learning English in a destination tourist location like Los Cabos, Linda shared a recent anecdote. She and her sister were shopping in a local supermarket when an English speaker asked them for help. Employing some English, some Spanish and much sign language, the situation was resolved and all went away smiling.

Linda realized that attempting English with visitors is not such a scary prospect and that to do well in Los Cabos, mastering English is mandatory. She also appreciates that learning in a fun and friendly environment where she feels fully supported is going to increase her learning power.

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