Breaking Down Language Barriers to Become a Better Business Manager

September 24, 2018 | Campus News

Ten years ago, Neha Patel moved from India to the United States to help her husband manage a hotel in St. Clair. She had taken English classes in college, but knew she would have to improve her skills in order to interact with customers.

English can be a complicated language for non-native speakers to learn, but Patel didn’t want to give up. She was determined to improve and better serve customers at their hotel.

Her husband knew she was struggling with the language barrier, so he started searching for resources in the area. That’s when he found the East Central College Adult Education and Literacy Program (AEL). He suggested his wife give it a try.

“Our English Language Acquisition classes are designed for people just like Neha,” said AEL Director Alice Whalen. “We provide students with a working knowledge of English in preparation for the workplace and daily living.”

Whalen added that classes are conducted in a small classroom style to allow students the chance to receive individual attention from their instructors and tutors. The classes help students in reading and listening, and even learn American culture. Patel started taking classes in November 2017. In a short amount of time, it is already helping her be a better supervisor at her business.

“This class is really helping me talk to customers politely and respond back to them,” Neha explained. “My instructor is excellent. Even when I studied in my country, I didn’t have a teacher like her. She is helping me a lot.”

The AEL English Language Acquisition course is completely free and has locations in Union, Rolla, Washington and Wright City. Both day and evening times are available. For more information on classes and registration, visit English Language Acquisition or call 636-584-6533.