By Charlene Montes
Some students at the English Language Center in Provo are finding an enjoyable way to relieve the frustrations of learning a new language: by playing soccer.
Soccer is a professional sport for many people in different parts of the globe. However, at the English Language Center it”s an opportunity many students take to let off the pressure and stress of learning a second language.
“I can use my skills that I have in playing a game that I love and not worry whether I am pronouncing a word correctly or if I am using my grammar in the right way,” said ELC student Leo Paul Montes.
The competition is friendly yet intense.
The students usually playing are from Mexico, Africa, Brazil, Peru, Brazil and Haiti.
“Our style of playing is different from the other player so that makes it interesting and fun,” said ELC student Mohamed Kokaina.
The day-to-day hassle of learning the English Language and then needing to take an American based English exam in order to be considered for college in the United States is a struggle for many.
“As we take part in a game that we have a passion for then we are not feeling so depressed about school” said ELC student Emmanuel Noriez.
The weather does not always co-operate with the student”s desires but they remain confident that the springtime sunshine will come out.
There are many places to meet in Provo and Orem for the ELC students to kick back and relieve their stress, but the main place of preference is the huge field next to the Wyview housing. This is mainly because it”s a halfway point for the friends in Orem and those here in Provo.
On a typical day, such as a Friday morning or a Saturday morning many of the students invite their friends to get together and have teams that compete against each other. The turn-out is always positive and excitement rings through the air.
Some of the conversations involved when students play the game are mumbling something under their breath, either in their native language, or something that isn”t coherent, to somehow intimidate the other team.
“You can see the unity that forms as these students not only learn together but can also play together,” said Dave Christensen a teacher for the ELC program.
As a result of this exercise they receive, the learning level has risen and the desire to work hard has increased.
“English is not the easiest language to learn but somehow I have been successful and I”m now preparing myself to take a higher level of classes here at the ELC,” said Jean-Louis Senat, a student from Haiti.
Overall the normal Monday-Thursday classes help these students relieve some of their homesickness because they have this escape of soccer from everyday life.
“There is no game like it because it forces you to work as a team, use your skills and yet still have a fun time,” said Montes.