The lack of the diversity of languages in most churches, combined with the growing number of U.S. residents with a language other than English, points to a potential dilemma for local congregations about how to acknowledge and embrace the linguistic diversity already within the congregation. How should churches respond to speakers of other languages, especially those within their congregation? What should be the role and attitude of the church when dealing with this dilemma? This article examines the biblical and professional rationale for starting a language partnership ESL ministry as a solution. In addition, a discussion of the experience of one church provides suggestions of four principles necessary for successfully building a language partnership through ESL: have a vision, pedagogy is important, value the culture, and build relationships. It is hoped that the information discussed in this article will present an opportunity for further dialog in churches about a response to the growing linguistic diversity within their congregations.
Schmidt, Marlene E.
"Language Partners: The Church, Multiple Languages and ESL,"
International Journal of Christianity and English Language Teaching: Vol. 3
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.biola.edu/ijc-elt/vol3/iss1/5