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On February 5, Montclair Public Library (MPL) and LINK Language Learning (LINK) will launch a pilot program to provide English for Specific Purposes (ESP) to restaurant workers. The class, which runs for 12 weeks, will be offered free of charge.

“Immigrants make up 22% of food service workers in the U.S.,” said Janet Torsney, assistant director of MPL. “With 152 restaurants in Montclair, it is natural for MPL and LINK to offer English literacy classes designed for food service workers.”

The class will meet on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Main Library and run through May 7. Classes are completely free to students to eliminate any financial obstacle, and childcare can be provided to remove another common barrier. Children needing supervision while their parent is in class will participate in early literacy activities with library staff and volunteers.

“Emphasis will be placed on pronunciation with audio and video lessons, and on responsiveness to students’ needs and personal goals,” explained Catherine Angus, LINK teacher. “We are dedicated to ensuring our classes are as relevant and as immediately useful as possible for our students.”

This pilot project is funded in part by a grant from Vernon Library Supplies, which is giving away 100% of its 2017 operating profits to libraries and other non-profit organizations with programs designed to help new immigrants achieve English literacy and proficiency. MPL and LINK hope that this is the beginning of recurring classes tailored for specific trade use, making English-language learning more impactful for workers.

LINK also offers a free program on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Montclair to help adult participants increase their spoken fluency through two levels of class. Childcare is also provided. The spring session begins February 7.

For more information and to register, visit montclairlibrary.org/literacy or call 973-744-0500 ext. 2235.


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