Gonzaga ESL Community Outreach (GECO) is a 100% student-led program within the M.A. Teaching English as a Second Language program (TESL) at Gonzaga University. GECO provides free English as Second Language (ESL) classes to adult immigrants and refugees living in the Spokane area. Students in MA/TESL participate in GECO to engage with the community, learn about other cultures, and gain teaching experience.
The panel will be comprised of the current GECO coordinator, an MA/TESL student and GECO teacher, and GECO students, the Spokane immigrants and refugees who regularly attend the weekly class. The panelists will detail the benefits of a student-led community outreach program as well as the challenges. GECO students will share why they attend and their experiences in the program. Finally, the panelists will answer questions on how this program structure can be used in other disciplines to unite professional development and community outreach.