FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 5, 2007
Contact: Joshua Hollis
MUW's Bunnell teaches wives of SeverCorr
executives conversational English
COLUMBUS, Miss. - Answering the telephone. Talking
to a bank teller.
Mailing a letter at the post office. These are
things that natural English speakers sometimes take
for granted. To someone from another country, even
with a basic grasp of the language, these routine
tasks can be frustrating and overwhelming.
The wives of several of the SeverCorr executives
know this feeling well.
Todd Bunnell, instructor of English and director of
the TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)
Certificate Program at MUW, is helping them overcome
the dread they feel when interacting with people by
offering an English conversation course.
Bunnell said he was approached by three of the women
who were looking for an ESL class that could meet at
a time that worked for all of them.
He said, "I thought it was a great opportunity for
[the university], since we don't always reach out to
the community." Bunnell said he believes the women
got his name from a former student in the TESL
Bunnell said the class consists of the students
learning about and working on interactions in
real-life situations. They cover material in an
assigned book, but the students are allowed to lead
discussions on topics about which they are
The five students (two from Germany, one from
Germany via Romania, one from China and one from
Brazil) all possess basic English communication
skills, meaning that Bunnell does not need to know
"They're more advanced than they think they are," he
The main goal of this class, said Bunnell, is to
give the students the confidence to communicate
effectively and leave behind the shyness or
The class will run until at least the end of the
semester. Bunnell said he would like to continue the
courses next fall and would be open to having more
"I would be very receptive to anyone who needed the
language skill classes," he said, repeating that it
is important to "reach out to the community." He
said these types of exercises could create a
"stronger connection from the W to the community."
SeverCorr is a next-generation steel plant currently
in construction just outside of Columbus.
For more information, contact Bunnell at
662-329-7392 or by email at