The university’s Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages program began a series of weekly classes on citizenship English for residents in the Oklahoma City metro area.
The classes are run by Dr. Robert Griffin, TESOL professor, and Alicia Mumba, student of the TESOL program and class coordinator/instructor. The classes are meant to assist immigrants in Oklahoma City and Edmond in learning the linguistic, civic and informational skills required to pass the U.S. citizenship interview.
“The objective here is to help the community,” Griffin said. “In Oklahoma City, we have a large immigrant community who have been here for a number of years, and they’re seeking citizenship.
“And, a lot of the time, the only thing that keeps them from doing this is that they may not have the English knowledge to go through the application or they don’t have the knowledge to successfully pass the interview.”
The classes are in Oklahoma City and Edmond. Oklahoma City classes are 6:30-8 p.m. Thursdays at the Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker Ave., and Edmond classes are 4:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Edmond Public Library, 10 S. Boulevard.
More than 30 students have attended the class so far. Though the demand is high, each class is taught by at least five different trained instructors from the TESOL program to ensure students are instructed to their particular needs.
“One person has their appointment next week for an interview. Another is brand new and has no idea where to start from,” Mumba said. “We’ll split the teachers up. We have a lead teacher, and then we have tutors that assess them individually. Everyone has a different story.”
The classes are made up of Hispanic and African American students and different nationalities from all around the world, including Germany, Ghana, Brazil, and Kenya.
“We’re getting a mix of people from around the globe,” Griffin said. “We’re having to assess them to see where they’re at, and then we have to give them individualized teaching.”
All classes and textbooks are free and inclusive to any who need the training the classes offer.
To enroll or get more information, contact Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 208-5941.