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COOS BAY — Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Fall 2019 English as a Second Language class has partnered with the Charleston Marine Life Center to produce four foreign language translations of the CMLC Visitors Guide. After touring the center with Director Trish Mace, the students were inspired to apply their English skills to translating the original brochures into their first languages of Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

“This partnership with SWOCC’s ESL class is wonderful," Mace said. "We are very grateful to the students for their time and interest in helping us develop language resources to make the CMLC more accessible to our visitors. These guides are now available for use by tourists visiting the center."

“It is important for language learners to engage with a community outside the classroom because it allows them to practice English in an authentic context, while also developing their confidence interacting with those whose first language is English," said ESL instructor Megan Grove. "Translating for the CMLC has provided these students with the opportunity to expand their vocabulary and practice their reading skills, while at the same time broadening their knowledge of Coos Bay culture and sharing their first language with others. The Marine Life Center also benefits from this language exchange — a community win-win.”

The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology’s Charleston Marine Life Center is a place of interactive discovery for all ages. The center’s aquaria and exhibits highlight the diversity of marine life along the Oregon coast — from sea slugs to whales — as well as information on local fisheries and ongoing marine research. The center is located at 63466 Boat Basin Road in Charleston and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The ESL class, part of Adult and Pre-College Education, meets Monday-Thursday, 9-11:50 a.m. each term and welcomes all levels of English proficiency. Students participate in a number of classroom activities, field trips, campus events, and pot luck lunches in order to develop confidence and skill in using English. The cost is $57.00 to join the class.

For more information about the ESL class or other services provided by the Adult and Pre-College Education department at Southwestern call 541-888-1593, or visit the department on the third floor of Tioga Hall on the Coos campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay.

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