Lee to Offer Free ESL Classes  

CELL, Community, News

Lee University’s Department of Language and Literature will offer free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to the community through its Center for English Language and Literacy (CELL). Registration is now open for literacy classes, which begin on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and conversation classes, which begin on Thursday, Feb. 2.  

CELL will offer five levels of conversation classes for all levels of learners, ranging from beginners who have little to no prior English instruction to speakers who are advanced in their knowledge of the English language.  

The program is led by Dr. Chris Blake, associate professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and linguistics, and Dr. Betsy Poole, assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics. The English classes are taught by Lee student instructors who have been professionally trained in the TESOL program.  

Childcare (ages 1-6) and English language instruction (ages 7-12) will be offered by trained students who will lead English lessons and activities suited for these age groups.

“English is not an easy language to learn, and I never cease to be amazed by the stories of current and former students in our program who have made such great progress in a short period of time,” said Blake. “Of course, this would not be possible without the incredible talent of Lee’s TESOL students and the generous support of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.”   

English literacy classes, including reading and writing, will be held on Tuesday evenings, and conversation classes will be held on Thursday evenings. All classes will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Walker Memorial Building, with signs directing students to the building and room.  

For more information or to register for classes, visit or contact Blake at or call (423) 614-8223. 

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