“I’ve always wanted to learn to speak English,” said Moises Arroyo. He has been able to do this and more with our English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
This 27-year-old Mexico City native said he used to feel “incomplete” because of his limited English skills. Now, he said, “I feel better than before.”
Moises said he relied on his cousin to translate certain words, but he wanted to learn more. In 2012, he came to a free open house event hosted by the College biannually.
“I came with my cousin because I thought no one would speak Spanish, and I needed someone to translate for me,” he recalls. Moises met ESL instructor Nancy DeLisle-Brown that night and took an assessment test.
“Before she left the room, she spoke to me in Spanish,” he said. “She said, ‘No cheating!’ It was a surprise, but it made me feel comfortable.”
Moises started ESL courses shortly after. He said, “I was kind of nervous because I always wanted to learn to speak English, but I wasn’t sure if it was enough to make progress and earn the knowledge.”
Today, Moises said he no longer has to ask for words to be translated. He said, “I feel comfortable with my English. I can express my feelings to my boss, and I can make a joke with my friends.”
He has also been able to accomplish a variety of goals — one of which involves a Siberian Husky named Lola. He wanted to buy a dog with zero help from others.
“I did it by myself,” he said, beaming. “I wrote the email, sent it to the breeder and asked about the price — everything. I felt good about this.”
Moises will complete his ESL certificate soon, and earning his bachelor’s degree is his next objective. He was studying architecture and journalism but struggled in his English courses. Moises plans to take his improved English skills with him to complete his education.
Moises said another highlight of taking ESL courses has been the personal connection with others from countries such as Brazil, Guatemala and El Salvador. Also, this diligent student has never missed a session — even after accidentally locking his car keys in his house.
“My sister-in-law showed up and opened the door,” he said. “I just ran as fast as I could!”
Lyn Cohen, Languages program manager, said, “Moises is a model student. His potential is limitless!”
Moises encourages anyone looking to improve their English skills to take ESL courses, saying, “Believe you can do what you want to do. If you’re doing your best, one day it’s going to happen. Don’t give up.”