Free English Class From Thornton Middle

If you are looking an English class which is offered free, this is what you are looking for. This Class of learning English is offered by The International School at Thornton Middle. However this free service of learning English is offered for the parent of Middle School.

The International School at Thornton Middle is offering free English language classes to parents and family members of students enrolled in the school. The school has a 74.3 percent Hispanic student population, and officials hope the classes will provide Spanish-speaking parents an opportunity for more engagement in their child’s education. “Overall the real goal is to connect students and parents to the school as much as possible because we know that ultimately that will translate into increased success with the students,” said assistant principal Grant Underwood, who is also teaching one of the classes.

The classes are offered twice a month from 5-7 p.m. every other Monday. There are three class levels — beginning, intermediate and advanced. The class does not follow a text book and is being taught by Grant and two other teachers. Grant said the class focuses on conversational English to support academics and school events like parent teacher conferences. “At the beginning level we are working on formal and informal English instruction like introductions and presentations,” he said. “For the parent teacher conferences, we will practice on classroom vocabulary and potential questions that can be asked to the teacher.” Laura Bowman is the school’s transition facilitator and the woman behind the program.

At the beginning of the school year she personally contacted all of the Spanish-speaking parents to inform them of the free classes. She said she has good contact with all the parents, but works especially close with the Spanish-speaking parents. “I make 100 to 200 calls to let them know what we offer and who are as a school,” she said. “I get connected with the Spanish-speaking parents and they trust me.” Bowman said a lot of the trust stems from her own experience.

She moved to the United States 32 years ago not knowing any English whatsoever, so she can relate to what many parents are going through who can’t speak English. “I know the feeling to come to another country and not know the language,” she said. “So I know how they feel and I want to make sure that they have a school that supports them and that they feel comfortable speaking to the teachers and even the administrators.” Those who attend the classes receive a notebook, pen, pencil and an English dictionary.

Free day care is also provided at the school during the class. Bowman said she hopes to expand the program next year to include free GED classes. For more information on the classes call the school at 720-972-5160.