NewsHispanic Heritage Month


Reach ESL offering English classes to Spanish-speaking Brazos Valley community

Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 14:10:57-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Reach ESL is an organization at Texas A&M University helping the Spanish-speaking community in the Brazos Valley sharpen their English skills.

“I want to learn the right way to speak and write because I would like to do the GED program,” said Alberto Palomares, Reach ESL student. “After the GED, I can go to college.”

Alberto Palomares is in the advanced ESL classes, and he said the class is helping him improve his pronunciation.

“Maybe for you it’s not that hard, because growing up you listen and write, but for us, that’s really hard because some words sound the same, spelled different and means a lot different,” said Palomares.

Founder of Reach ESL Maray Valle said the accessibility of the course made it likely for people to enroll.

"It’s going to be at an A&M campus,” said Maray Valle, founder/coordinator of ESL Reach. “It’s going to be taught by students that speak Spanish, understand your language and your concerns, and it’s going to target things that you actually need to learn in order to succeed to be part of the community and town.”

Michael Meeks teaches advanced ESL classes and uses real-life scenarios to teach English.

“Conversation involving all the students where they had to come up with job interview questions and how to answer them using some grammar, we learned in the beginning of class about how to structure question sentences,” said Michael Meeks, advanced instructor at ESL Reach.

Isabella Ortigoza is one of the ESL instructors and said giving back to her community means the most.

“When they kind of come up with their own way to formulate things or when they have their own input and they’re like maybe I can say it this way or maybe this works too,” said Isabella Ortigoza, Reach ESL instructor. "I think that’s when I’m most proudest of them just because they went above and beyond in making it their own.”

Alfredo Andrade is also in the advanced class and said his wife and mother-in-law told him about the classes being offered.

“They help me a lot,” said Alfredo Andrade, Reach ESL student. “I have two daughters that go to school. My wife helps a lot with the homework, and I try to help her too.”

For Andrade, it’s about future opportunities as well.

“I want to read all the English,” said Andrade. “I want to write it too. I try working hard on my pronunciation. We try to do the GED too, so let’s see how it goes.”

More information on how to join the ESL classes can be found here.