English Speakers of Other Languages
ESOL Courses (Non-credit)
Before beginning a formal course of academic English, non-native speakers may wish to start with a non-credit course.
ESOL Academic Courses
ESOL students will be more successful in their college careers by first enrolling in one, or more, of the ESOL academic courses.
International Café is a monthly conversational gathering where non-native English speakers and native speakers can meet and enjoy refreshments, make friends from other countries, and practice their English skills.
The final gathering for 2017 is the Holiday Party and Yankee Swap set for Friday, December 15 in room 106 at 7 PM. In spring 2018, meetings will resume Feb. 9, and continue with March 9, and April 13. All meetings will be held in room 106 from 7:00-8:30 PM.
May 4, 2018 will be the annual "Around the World Dinner" fundraiser in Café 505 at 6 PM. Tickets will be required to attend the fundraiser.
World Language Club
The World Language Club exists to bridge language gaps between native and non-native speakers of a language. In addition to providing knowledge about global awareness, the World Languages Club plans cultural activities around food, film, and music. In May of 2010, members travelled to the United Nations in New York City on an all-expense paid trip.
ESOL in the Community
New Hampshire community colleges and student groups lend expertise, outreach, and resources to grow diverse and strong communities
CCSNH campuses create opportunities for refugees, immigrants, non-English speakers and other newcomers to better understand each other
Across the Granite State, New Hampshire’s community colleges are involved in partnership initiatives designed to make immigrants and refugees feel welcome in their new neighborhoods. Linked by a common goal to introduce longtime residents to the diverse backgrounds of the state’s newest neighbors and strengthen the ties that build strong, educated, and diverse communities, Nashua Community College and the United Way of Greater Nashua are hallmark example of how business, industry, and academic groups can work together.
“Nashua schools, and schools across the state, are part of a statewide effort to welcome and create safe educational opportunities for newcomers from other countries,” said Liz Fitzgerald, director of community impact at Nashua United Way. “A diverse community of informed, healthy, and engaged people is more resilient and able to work together to address the challenges facing our state and region.”
The positive takeaways of those efforts were evident at the October 13 “Building Healthy Connections Together” Symposium run by the Gate City Immigrant Initiative, where new resident Andre Birenzi discussed fleeing war in Congo, resettling in Burundi, and finally arriving in Nashua in December 2016. Crediting help from community members, Birenzi said it took only 10 months from arriving as a refugee to landing a job as a software engineer at Bowdoin College.
“Being in a welcoming community is a good thing, because I got to know people,” Birenzi said, referring to Nashua’s status as an official Welcoming Community. “It is very important to get connected, to meet people, and to understand how things work in the U.S.”
For Nashua Community College Professor Elizabeth Berry, accounts like this illustrate the advantages of investing in diversity initiatives.
As the facilitator of the Conversation Partners program and the International Café at NCC, she leads the monthly gatherings where non-native English speakers and native speakers meet to enjoy multicultural refreshments, practice English skills, and make friends from other countries. International Café welcomes all members of the community, including non-students and high school students from Nashua and its surrounding towns.
“Our goal is to change the way many people view newcomers – refugees and immigrants – into our community and empower them to become partners within the community,” Berry said. “We’re all equal members of our society with important ideas and skills to contribute to the workforce and overall fabric of our increasingly-diverse state.”
As part of One Greater Nashua, Berry offers workshops focused on helping people better understand each other. As chair of NCC’s Department of Multicultural Engagement, which includes English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) and World Languages, Berry sees the far-reaching benefits and positive outcomes of nurturing multicultural connections for all involved.
Grant funding from the Endowment for Health and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation enables organizations in and around Nashua, Laconia, Manchester, and Concord to make it easier for newcomers to become part of their new communities. It also emphasizes building connections between new residents, including those learning to speak the language, and people with roots in New Hampshire already.
Community colleges in and around New Hampshire’s other refugee resettlement areas have similar partnerships with local school districts and integration and inclusion initiatives. Resettlement areas are designated with special services to help newcomers acclimate to a new culture and language.