As a multi-ethnic community, we want to support those whose first language is not English. Our ESL program helps students learn English and become more familiar with life in Canada, and it also helps students with their spiritual wellbeing by discussing biblical teachings.
Our ESL program offers many classes of different levels. We have a class for you no matter how long you have been speaking English!
Our volunteer teachers are patient, encouraging and caring, and these classes are a safe place for you to practice your English, make new friends, and have fun with folks from other countries. You will have a chance to share your cultural and family experiences, and hear interesting stories from other students.
Taught in English
“E Category” classes are taught in English, and students from all language backgrounds are welcome! The aim is to help students learn English using themes common to day-to-day life. We do this through reading, listening and speaking, and occasional writing.
Taught in Chinese and English
“C Category” classes are for Chinese-speaking students with little or no English language experience. These classes are taught in both Mandarin and English with the aim to eventually transfer students into E Level classes which are taught completely in English. If necessary, Cantonese will also be utilized in order to help students learn.
Not only has our ministry helped students learn English, but God has also used the ESL program as a community to bless the lives of our students. Read our student testimonials (proofread by teachers) below!
My name is Janet. I live in Guatemala, but my brothers live in Vancouver and attend Willingdon church. They told me about the ESL classes. However, I was a little afraid to join them since I was always afraid to speak what little I know in English. Finally, I decided to join the ESL program which has been a beautiful experience for me. To join my weekly lessons, I sign in online from Guatemala to my ESL class in Burnaby. Little by little, my fear to speak in English is being eliminated. I have been able to improve my pronunciation and learn new words and phrases that, for a long time, I have pronounced and used them incorrectly. I have been able to meet and interact with people from other cultures who have the same goal as I, learn more about the Word of God and work toward being able to communicate fluently in English.
I am very grateful to Willingdon church for this great opportunity. In my country, we speak Spanish, so ESL classes are an excellent opportunity to practice and learn English. I thank the teachers for their patience and time to prepare the classes. which are entertaining and interesting. God bless you.
Mi nombre es Janet, soy de Guatemala pero mis hermanos viven en Vancouver. Ellos asisten a la iglesia Willingdon, me contaron sobre las clases de ESL (English as a Second Language).
Sin embargo, dudé un poco en recibirlas ya que tuve miedo de hablar en inglés. Finalmente me animé y decidí incorporarme a las clases de ESL, las cuales han sido una bonita experiencia para mí.
Cada semana me uno a las clases de ESL en Burnaby conectándome desde Guatemala, gracias a las clases he podido poco a poco dejar el miedo que tenía para hablar en inglés, he podido mejorar mi pronunciación, y también he aprendido palabras y frases nuevas que durante mucho tiempo las pronuncié y utilicé incorrectamente. He podido conocer e interactuar con personas de otras culturas que tienen el mismo objetivo de aprender inglés, aprender más sobre la palabra de Dios y lograr una comunicación fluida en inglés.
Estoy muy agradecida con la inglesía Willingdon por esta gran oportunidad, en mi país solo se habla español por lo que las clases de ESL son una excelente oportunidad para poder practicar y aprender el inglés. Agradezco a los maestros por su paciencia y tiempo para preparar cada clase, las cuales son muy amenas e interesantes. Dios les bendiga.
My experience with ESL classes at Willingdon Church has been very helpful. It has enriched my vocabulary and, of course, it has kept me familiarized with biblical terms and words. For me that is so important to learn the meanings of new words and idioms, to understand better all the messages that God has given us and also learn the correct use of those new words and phrases.
It also has been such a blessing to meet all the wonderful people in the group and of course to share opinions and experiences which make time run very quickly during the classes, because doing so, I think is one of the best ways to build up one another in the group.
I personally think that the ESL program is a very important and useful tool for foreigners in Willingdon church because, attending them, we can be able to create a closer link to the Church and a feeling of being part of the body of Jesus Christ by meeting people with similar interests and with the most important thing which is to thirst and hunger after God’s Word and Holy Spirit.
Mi experiencia en las clases de ESL de la Iglesia Willingdon ha sido de mucha ayuda para mi, ya que ha enriquecido mi vocabulario y por supuesto me ha hecho estar más familiarizada con términos y palabras bíblicas. Esto es muy importante para mí porque aprendo el significado de nuevas palabras y modismos que me ayudan a entender mejor los mensajes que Dios nos ha dado en su Palabra. Además aprendo a usar correctamente estas nuevas palabras y frases.
También ha sido de gran bendición conocer a toda la gente maravillosa en mi grupo de ESL y desde luego compartir opiniones y experiencias que además de hacer que el tiempo corra muy rápido en las clases, nos edifica el uno al otro en el grupo.
Personalmente pienso que el programa de ESL en la Iglesia Willington es una herramienta muy importante y útil para extranjeros, porque asistiendo a las clases, podemos ser capaces de crear una mayor y mejor conexión y acercamiento a la Iglesia y sentirnos como parte del cuerpo de Cristo al conocer gente con intereses similares y que también tienen hambre y sed de la Palabra de Dios y de su Espíritu Santo.
I have been part of the Willingdon ESL program for almost two years. I remember when I started attending, I was afraid of speaking English. I was very well received by the teacher and friends of the group. It is wonderful to be with people from different countries and cultures and to know that we are a body in Christ. The teacher is very kind and helps us on the journey, and has always taken care of us in many ways. In the ESL class, in addition to the opportunity to study the Bible and learn English, you will find a family. Today I can communicate more easily and I have gained dear friends. I am grateful to God for the Willingdon ESL program and for the friends I made there.
Eu faço parte do programa de ESL da Willingdon por quase dois anos. Lembro-me de quando comecei a frequentar, tinha medo de falar inglês. Fui muito bem recebida pelo professor e amigos do grupo. É maravilhoso estar com pessoas de diferentes países e culturas e saber que somos um corpo em Cristo. O professor é muito gentil e nos ajuda na jornada, e sempre cuida de nós de várias maneiras. Nas aulas de ESL, além da oportunidade de estudar a Bíblia e aprender inglês, você encontrará uma família. Hoje consigo me comunicar com mais facilidade e ganhei amigos queridos. Sou grata a Deus pelo programa de ESL da Willingdon e pelos amigos que fiz lá.
My family’s life in Canada began three years ago, and I had to face many problems after I got here. If I faced these problems in my country, I could easily solve them, but the language difficulties made me feel like a child who didn’t know anything. Even in simple conversations, my brain needed time to organize words, and people had to bear with my poor English-speaking skill.
The most urgent thing I had to solve was the language barrier, and while trying to do that, I got to know Willingdon Church and started to attend services and ESL classes. The teachers were very kind and generous in helping me not to be afraid to make mistakes when speaking, listening, reading and writing English. I was able to continue studying English with their help
After the COVID-19 outbreak, one day, I heard from my ESL teachers that online classes would be started and I was glad to hear that news. I am learning the Bible through textbooks these days and enjoy classes by sharing daily conversations and prayer requests. They send me emails every week to prepare for online classes. I value my ESL class.
가족의 캐나다 생활은 3년전에 시작되었고, 나는 이곳에서 지내면서 해결해야 할 많은 문제들에 직면해야 했습니다. 만일 이런 문제를 우리나라에서 직면한다면 간단히 해결할 수 있는 일이지만 언어의 어려움은 저를 아무것도 모르는 아이처럼 만들었습니다. 간단한 대화에서 조차도 나의 두뇌는 단어들을 정리할 시간이 필요했고 사람들은 이런 나의 미숙한 영어를 감당해야만 했습니다.
내가 가장 시급하게 해결해야 할 것은 언어의 장벽이 였고, 이것를 해결하기 위해 애쓰는 중에, 저는 윌링던 교회를 알게 되어 예배와 ESL 커뮤니티에 참석했습니다. 선생님들은 매우 친절하고 너그러웠고, 제가 영어를 말하고, 듣고, 읽고, 쓸 때 실수하는 것을 두려워하지 않도록 도와주었습니다. 저는 그들의 도움으로 영어 공부를 계속 할 수 있었습니다.
가 발생한 후, 어느 날에 ESL 선생님으로부터 온라인으로 금요일에 수업이 시작된다는 것을 들었고 저는 이 소식을 듣고 기뻤습나다. 저는 요즘 교재를 통해 성경의 역사를 배우고 있고 일상적인 대화와 기도 요청을 서로 나누며 수업을 즐기고 있습니다. 그들은 온라인 수업준비를 위해 나에게 매주 이메일을 보내줍니다. 그리고 그 수업은 저에게 소중합니다.
English Version (Translated to English by ESL teacher):
Dear teachers, classmates and friends, I am Connie, a student of the ESL 2A class at Willingdon Church. I am from China. I am pleased to share with you my learning experience and gains from the ESL program. I started to take ESL classes two years ago at Willingdon Church. My first class was taught bilingually, in Chinese and English, meant for beginners with Chinese language background. My teacher LC was very kind, conscientious and responsible. The students liked her class very much. The learning atmosphere in the class was very positive, and Teacher LC’s flexible teaching methods helped me to progress greatly in my English proficiency, especially with my listening and speaking. To this day, I still keep in touch with my classmates and teacher on WeChat like friends.
Then the global COVID pandemic hit us in the spring of 2020, and many programs and events had to be cancelled. Thankfully, I learned from Teacher LC’s WeChat that during the pandemic, Willingdon Church would not stop the ESL program, but would continue to offer ESL classes online instead. I really appreciated her letting me know, so I could continue to learn English with the fall term ESL classes in September. This time I wanted to try an English-only (not bilingual) Beginner level class. Initially, I was still a little hesitant. Can I keep up in an all-English class? Well, this anxiety quickly disappeared.
The current Teacher LE is also a good teacher who is amiable, responsible, and flexible with her teaching methods. Her persuasive, creative and meticulous teaching methods made me feel at ease with the English language. My fellow classmates all participate energetically, following Teacher LE’s instruction, practicing listening and speaking skills with commonly used dialogues. Together we learned many new vocabularies. During this semester, I learned a variety of commonly used dialogues in life: such as daily greetings, numbers, calendars, four seasons, directions to places, making appointments, human body parts, and useful knowledge on protection against the new Corona virus. More importantly, through the short Bible stories, I not only mastered more English vocabulary, but also learned and comprehended more knowledge in the Bible, which made me more interested in seeking spirituality. The result from this one semester is indeed rich and rewarding. Now I can understand most of the English prayers said by Pastor and Teacher before and after class.
I really like the ESL classes at Willingdon Church, and I appreciate the hard work of the teachers. The next semester will start soon and I look forward to it. I will continue with the current class, in order to learn more English and the Bible, so that I can use English to gain a deeper understanding and closer relationship with the Lord Jesus. It is God who gave me such a wonderful learning experience. It is God who sent good teachers like angels to teach us English. Thank you and praise our beloved Father Abba for His daily grace! Amen!
If you are interested in improving your English, join one of our ESL classes! We will work with you to find the best fit.
If you are an English native speaker or you have a good English background and are interested in teaching an ESL class, please visit this page for more information on how to serve with our ministry!