14th Annual ESL Conference Hosted By CU
More than 120 people from across the state of Michigan attended the 14th Annual Cornerstone University English as a Second Language (ESL) Ministry Conference.
Attendees ranged from students and professors to pastors, adoption agencies and refugee organizations learning how to improve their ability to minister and teach ESL.
Dr. Michael Pasquale, professor of linguistics and director of the TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) program at Cornerstone, organized the event.
"We want to see people not only gain English proficiency but to come to know Christ," said Pasquale.
The conference featured Dr. Joseph Knight who has served as a Nazarene pastor for 20 years and founded 4Ethne Ministries. The non-profit ministry equips Christians and churches to share the hope of Jesus Christ with some of the least reached cultural groups in the world.
Knight led several workshops and challenged listeners as he shared his experiences, story and encouragement from the Bible.
"I've received several messages that [the ESL Conference] is great timing because many teachers are looking to start or improve a class," said Pasquale. "It's great even if someone doesn't have professional experience. Many people are hoping to teach a friend, or want to connect with a neighbor over coffee. This conference is great for so many people."
Each year the conference has a different focus.
"As America welcomes more refugees and immigrants, the ability to speak English is a huge contributor for them to fit in and succeed. Our focus this year was equipping local churches to outreach to these people," said Pasquale.
Plans are underway for next year's conference scheduled for April 2, 2016.