Salam’s ESL (English as a Second Language) classes have been running since 2016. While classes used to be given within settlements, they now take place three times per week at our Community Center, and still continue on within one settlement in Zahle. Classes are offered at both illiterate, beginner and intermediate levels. The adults who attend the classes tell us that they come in the hope of increasing their future work opportunities, but also with the desire to be able to pass on knowledge of the English language to their family, namely their children, to give them a better chance in life.
From late 2017, in collaboration with Basamat, a local NGO that focuses on education, Salam volunteers have been offering conversational English classes to refugees at a more advanced level. In an area where few refugees know the English language, it becomes difficult for those who have managed to reach a good proficiency to practice or improve their verbal skills. In the conversation classes, refugees and international volunteers speak about various topics, giving presentations and testing their ability to conduct themselves in English in different social contexts. In addition to cultural exchange, the hope is that improved skills will improve future chances for employment and better opportunities in Lebanon where job positions often require a good knowledge of the English language.