SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG)– In tonight’s What’s Working, a local non-profit is seeing an increase in the number of adult students who want to learn how to speak English. These classes are held at Goodwill Gulf Coast locations in Mobile and Spanish Fort.

There are over one-hundred-fifty students enrolled in English classes this Fall. There are classes for beginners, intermediate speakers, and advanced speakers. Many of the students are professionals who need to know more conversational English.

Christian Arriagada came from Chile for a job in aviation engineering in Mobile. He says learning the language has been a challenge. His wife, Marcela, is also in the class.

“It’s difficult, difficult to understand English for me,” Arriagada said.

“I am very happy. I like this country,” Berttiz said.

Instructor Javier Rockwell says he came to the United States with his family when he was a young boy. He enjoys the ‘ah ha’ moment when his students start to be able to converse.

“It’s very rewarding. You can see lightbulbs going on, and they are going out in the world and saying, ‘Oh, I can understand what is going on!'” Rockwell said.

Goodwill Gulf Coast education director Elizabeth Dominic says over 150 are enrolled in their English classes, which is the largest number since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In order for these individuals to be successful at their jobs or to possibly to even get a job, they need to learn English. To learn to communicate, to integrate into society, they need to know English to learn the jobs they are trained to do,” Dominic said.

If you are interested in the classes, click here.

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