USA (MNN) — Teaching English is a window to sharing Christ. It's especially true in the United States where just about everywhere you turn, there's someone from the Middle East, Asia, or Latin America who wants to learn English. That's why Cornerstone University is hosting their 11th annual ESL Conference Saturday, April 14 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Associate Professor of Linguistics Michael Pasquale heads the program. He says this year's conference has a singular focus: "How to teach English to someone that you don't know their language at all."
Pasquale says there's a new method of teaching called Total Physical Response. It involves giving "simple commands in English. You're kind of acting out the different things. You're pointing at different things. So we're teaching the basics of how to do this."
Dr. James Asher will be the guest speaker for this one-day event. "[He's] really the creator, the originator of this Total Physical Response method to be here in person to teach about it. So we have a lot of excitement from people from quite a distance who want to come."
Pasquale says the afternoon session will focus on another area of TPR methodology — story telling, which is helpful to ministries using the Bible to teach English.
He says a lot has changed in a decade. "Churches that I talked to 10 years ago that said, 'Ah, our community isn't very diverse' are now finding that it is something they want to get into, so it's been very exciting to see that take place."
Beginning an ESL ministry in your local church is strategic. Pasquale says, "This helps reach a population that wouldn't necessarily walk through a church door. We're helping build bridges into communities and provide a service. Through that service, we're building relationships, and through that, we can share the Gospel."
The cost of the conference is $65. If you want more information, click here.