Community in an ESL Class
In 2017, the SCH Meadowview Family Resource Center piloted an instructional English as a Second Language (ESL) class that would be open to all community members. Ideally, this class would provide communicative, activity-based instruction to all levels to improve English language speaking, listening and writing skills. The results, however, had a far greater impact than staff ever expected. One parent, in particular, exemplifies just how powerful this class has been.
Camila was one of the program’s earliest participants. With five beautiful children living in a South Sacramento apartment complex, no transportation and a language barrier, one could see how easy it would be for this mother to isolate herself–buried by the burdens of life’s hardships. At first, Camila was sometimes the only participant in the class. With two twins in tow, she would walk to the class each week, and she remained consistent and eager. At first, she lacked confidence in her language abilities, and a mistake or mispronunciation was crippling to any attempt at a conversation, but her resilience paid off in time. She strengthened her conversation and listening skills, and now, she can articulate full sentences about her preferences and observations in speech and writing.
Not only have Camila’s language skills improved, but she has found a community in this ESL class. She has been an inspiration to other students, and the class has grown. Many students now consistently walk, drive, or caprool to the class. Due to demand, the class has been expanded from once to twice per week, sometimes going up to two hours instead of one at the request of its eager members. Every Monday and Wednesday morning, staff greet Camila with a “¡Buenos Dias!” This amazing mother proudly returns a clear and confident, “Good morning!”
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of our clients.
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