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Grants Will Allow ESL Program to Create
New Instructional Opportunities for Students

WINTERVILLE—The Pitt Community College English as a Second Language (ESL) Program was recently awarded a pair of grants – one that provides funding for the creation of instructional videos and another for distance learning programming.

Jan Fisher, PCC Transitional Studies coordinator, said a $28,279-English Literacy/Civics Education Grant from the U.S. Department of Education will be used to produce and pilot five instructional videos for use in ESL classes.

“The videos will be specific to Pitt County and will be an essential component of classroom-based civics lessons,” Fisher said, adding that they will feature interviews that “serve as a bridge between classroom instruction and application of that knowledge in real-life situations.”

Fisher says the videos will showcase actual Pitt County agencies and address questions and concerns of Pitt County residents. She says they will be shown in the classroom prior to guest speaker visits and field trips.

Another objective, Fisher says, is to use the videos to provide students enrolled in nighttime ESL classes with “increased access to more contextualized civics instruction at night.” She said more than 150 students enroll in ESL night courses at PCC each year.

Fisher said the $17,498-Project IDEAL (Improving Distance Education for Adult Learners) Grant that the N.C. Community College System awarded PCC this summer will fund distance learning courses for approximately 50 ESL students.

“This project will serve advanced ESL students who desire to improve their math and reading skills in preparation to transition to the GED program, curriculum classes, or to take Career Readiness Certificate testing,” she said.

Students, she said, will either enroll in an online course, My Skills Tutor (an online program to improve reading, writing and math skills), or a hybrid course that combines computerized instruction with traditional classroom teaching.