Posts Tagged ‘ESL’

Souad came to LLC in the spring, eager to get her citizenship. She had tried once already earlier in the winter and did not pass the exam. In her mid-70’s, Souad surprised me with her energy and her drive to achieve her goal. Originally Souad is from Lebanon and she has lived in the States for more than ten years with her family. With only 2 years of education from her country, it would need to take a lot of hard work and focus in 6 weeks to achieve her goal.

Soon after, I started tutoring Souad to prepare her for the citizenship exam. There was no time for “getting to know you” and introductory lessons, we had 6 weeks until her next scheduled attempt to obtain citizenship. We jumped right into the material from the book Voices of Freedom, a book made specifically for English Language Learners preparing for the citizenship exam. As quickly and thoroughly as possible, we moved through the book and focused specifically on dictation, a significant part of the test that Souad struggled with in the past.

I would come to our tutor sessions, and Souad had pages and pages of practice in her notebook from the last time we met. Every session I assigned her homework (which she always completed), but what impressed me most was her discipline and determination to write difficult sentences 4 or 5 times in a row to hit on the repetition she needed.

It was mid-July and it was our last tutor session together. Souad had her exam in 4 days, and I did everything I could to help prepare her. LLC and her family were all cheering her on to pass. During that session, we worked up to the last minute, and we said our goodbyes.  I told Souad to call me when she passed that Friday. Days passed, and it was Friday afternoon. I knew she had taken the test in the morning, and I hadn’t received a phone call. I waited and decided to contact her daughter-in-law that evening. My hopes were low, until I got the news that she passed! “Souad is now an American citizen!” I was so thrilled. Moved by Souad’s determination and so incredibly proud of her, I congratulated the her and the family.

After a year of hard work as an AmeriCorps Member, this was the perfect news to have at the end of my term. After thinking about my time here at AmeriCorps, I realized that even more than teaching English, we have been able to empower students. We were able to give students confidence and the ability to believe in themselves. With Souad receiving her citizenship, it was such a tangible way of knowing how my time as an AmeriCorps Member helped make a difference.

By Janna Starr, AmeriCorps Member

Loudoun Literacy Council


Read Full Post »

Volunteers Sabrina, Sean, and Megan help teach an ESL class at Sterling UMC.

Since April 15-21 as National Volunteer Week, we wanted to acknowledge some of our very special volunteers. This week has also marked the official beginning of our Spring ESL Classes, so we would like to say a great big “Thank You” to all of our volunteer class teachers:

Spring 2012 Class Teachers

Kimberly Bien- Assistant at Douglass Community Center
Tanya Bittenbender- Teacher at Guilford Elementary School
Mary Campbell- Teacher at Galilee UMC
Jaberta Corson- Teacher at Rolling Ridge Elementary School
Beth Davidson- Teacher at Rolling Ridge Elementary School
Megan Dieter- Teacher at Cascades Community Center
Barbara Dobbins- Teacher at Sterling UMC
Julie Hellman- Teacher at Douglass Community Center
Lori Ludke- Teacher at Rolling Ridge Elementary School
Daniel Morgan- Teacher at Cascades Community Center
Molly Parsons- Teacher at Rust Library
Janna Starr- Teacher at Douglass Community Center
Jane Waweru- Assistant at Guilford Elementary School

We couldn’t do it without you! And a great big thank you to our tutoring volunteers, our Board of Directors, and our volunteers that help do everything from office help to class registrations! You are the best!

Loudoun Literacy Council

Read Full Post »

Volunteer Dawn Reynolds works with ESL Students at Douglass Community Center


The Loudoun Literacy Council is offering an instructor training course Saturday, May 19th from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you would like to teach students in basic literacy or English call us at 703-777-2205 or email Janna, Adult Literacy Program Assistant, at jstarr@loudounliteracy.org to sign up.

Teacher Training Details:

 Saturday, May 19th, 2012 from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

Location: Loudoun Literacy Council Office

17 Royal Street SW, Leesburg,VA 20175

The training session introduces volunteers to the experience of being an English Language Learner or ABE (Adult Basic Education) student. We will cover learning styles and characteristics of adult learners, effective lesson planning, and using resources.

Our trainers have considerable classroom and literacy experience.

Lunch will be provided.

There is a $35 fee to cover the cost of training and materials.

Read Full Post »

The internet has a wide array of resources for teaching English Language Learners. As one of our trainers Deb Howe says, “Don’t recreate the wheel, use the internet!” Feel free to check out the newest resources we have been using at LLC listed below:

Resources for Professional Development

1. http://www.acp-sc.org/

Our Executive Director Tanya Bittenbender just discovered this website today! This website, Adult Career Pathways, has a variety of curricula, lesson plans, and training for teaching Adult Education. Workforce development curricula is also provided. Registration required.

2. http://valrc.org/trainings/online.html

Here, you can find free extensive training for ELL Teachers through the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. Registration required.

3. http://proliteracyednet.org 

This website offers a wide variety of short online classes for ELL teachers.

4. http://www.newamericanhorizons.org/

On this site, you can find free videos of how to teach adult learners (real class examples).

Resources for Class

5. http://www.eslflow.com/

This all-encompassing website includes game ideas, discussions, ice breakers, and many more for your ELL class

6. http://bogglesworldesl.com

This website is very helpful for finding good worksheets relevant to your lesson topic.

7. http://www.wordle.net/

One of our volunteers recommended this website, it creates “word clouds” from the text you provide. Helpful for class discussion.

Feel free to post any resources you have found helpful! Enjoy!

Janna Starr, AmeriCorps Member

Adult Literacy Program Assistant

Loudoun Literacy Council

Read Full Post »