Connecting at the Christian Resources Exhibition
It was great to meet so many new faces at the Christian Resources Exhibition in Surrey last week and to chat with representatives from over 70 UK-based churches.
We gave out free ESOL resource bags, answered questions, and engaged with people from all over the country. It’s so inspiring to see so many churches wanting to share the love of Jesus through English language teaching. We were able to point some churches to Welcome Churches, especially those with recently arrived Afghans in their communities. Also, several churches, like us in Exeter, have had a number of new arrivals from Hong Kong.
We had many enquiries around what Christian TEFL offers through training and support. Currently, we can subsidise 80% of training costs for courses, webinars, and materials for eligible churches. That means some left our CRE stand to prayerfully consider their next step.
What’s the best question to ask at an exhibition?
Apart from “Where are the toilets?” here are three of the most popular questions asked at the show:
1. ESOL classes or International Café? What works best?
It depends (sorry to sit on the fence). Knowing who you wish to reach can actually help, so get to know your local community. Is there a refugee support network in your area? Do the local council run support for English language teaching already, that you can complement with classes or a café?
Niche can work too. If you can become known for a particular thing locally, you can build a community feel. For example, an Exeter church is offering women-only face-to-face English classes, as they have many local Muslims.
On the other hand, an international café is more open and can be a good starting point. From that base, you might go on to offer one-to-one classes, or extra English practice in groups, even English around the bible.
2. What’s the training like?
Good – at least we are told so! We offer a range of accredited, self-paced online TEFL and ESOL courses that start right from the beginning, assuming no teaching or grammar knowledge. Our tutors are professional, experienced, and are Christians. Churches can choose from interactive webinars on a range of topics, which means we can customise the training to the church needs. There is also a growing selection of teaching material and resources on offer.
3. How do we start?
The first step is to get in touch with us at email@example.com so we can discuss the next steps. William and Louisa will be happy to help advise and point you in the right direction.
We have already helped 15 churches and organisations this year get started on their training and outreach? Could your church be next?