Discover ESL at College Road Baptist

Traveling along State Road 200, not too far from West Marion Hospital, and a stone’s throw away from the new auto dealerships, will be a sign “Free English Classes, Wednesdays, 6 pm” at College Road Baptist Church (5010 SW College Road). It is a familiar sign that over the years has drawn many international residents, families and visitors of Ocala to its doors.   Now in its 13th year, English as a Second Language (ESL) has taught about 700 students (60 students per year), each acquiring various levels of English proficiency from beginner to advanced.  Every week classes are held from 6 pm to 7:30 pm.  Childcare is provided and everyone is welcomed.  Students may enroll in ESL any time during the year.

Learning English is a journey and a multi-year effort requiring dedication and study.   In 2004, following the series of hurricanes in the region and the responding workforce needs of the horse industry and local businesses, College Road Baptist Church launched a new ministry to address community needs by offering English as a Second Language (ESL). It is a staple.   ESL has a firm foundation of support including teachers, volunteers and students. Since its inception, 28 countries from around the world have been represented in College Road’s ESL program, including Japan, Korea, Spain, Russia and many South and Central American nations.

This ESL program is one of the few ESL programs to operate year round. The regular school year begins in mid-September and is conducted weekly until mid-May.  During the summer months, “Conversation Café” is also conducted weekly to give students the opportunity to continue their skill building.

According to ESL Director, Janet Smith “Some of the most successful students have stayed in the program and become teachers.   Their experience is invaluable to new and returning students, especially those who are eager to learn.” A student’s comfort level increases when they learn English, helping them in their jobs and as parents with families.

For questions:  Contact ESL Director, Janet Smith 352-854-6981.