ESOL Center celebrates first year

On Wednesday afternoon, the English for Speakers of Other Languages Center was filled with balloons, student, staff and noteworthy speakers, in addition to the normal decor of a sprawling world map and flags from countries around the world, celebrated its one-year anniversary.

According to Jeannette Molina, director of the ESOL center and dual-degree programs, the center's goal is to provide support services for both international and domestic students, faculty and staff who are non-native English speakers.

The creation of the center one year ago provided a foundation for English language writing classes that already existed for non-native speakers. According to Molina, the Provost's office recognized a need for the center and sparked its creation.

"We went from non-existent to not only having a location but also a full-fledged facility for students," said Molina.

According to Molina, roughly 200 people have used the center and its offered services throughout the year.

Today, the center is outfitted with a language lab equipped with software tailored to assist college students, textbooks, language workshops and student tutors. Molina stressed that the services offered through the center are, "non-remedial, academically intensive," programs suited to Geneseo's challenging academics.

At the celebration, Provost Katherine Conway-Turner and President Christopher Dahl spoke, as well as Geneseo faculty, staff and students, spoke about the center.

Joanne Yen, a senior and "Speech Buddy" with the center, was in attendance. As a Speech Buddy, Yen helps students improve their English skills in a casual, conversational setting.

"It's nice that ESOL students have a place that they can come to that's specifically for them," she said.