English as a Second Language (ESL) Ministry
The Good Samaritan United Methodist Church started helping people learn English in the early 1990s as a response to requests from our neighbors. Sadie Furumasu began meeting with one Japanese woman to practice English conversation, and it soon grew to a group of people learning English. During this time, the demographics around the church started changing rapidly. By the late 1990s, the Asian population of Cupertino grew to more than 40%. More and more neighbors came asking whether we could help them learn the English language. In 1999, we organized 3 free ESL classes on Saturday mornings. People were so impressed by the quality of teaching and the care shown by the teachers that this ministry quickly grew to more than 100 students.
Through the years, many dedicated teachers have continued the tradition, including professional teachers (active and retired), student teachers (in the ESL field), advanced ESL students helping teach Basic English, and many English-speaking church members who just enjoy working with the students. We now offer 2 ESL classes on weekdays, as well as once Saturdays. Through the years, more than 800 students have participated in our English classes.