Teaching ESL & Citizenship
Making Education available to everyone in the community is another initiative that I feel passionate about. I have had the opportunity in recent years to teach ESL courses and citizenship classes to refugees who have recently resettled in my community.
As part of this work, I took part in helping to redesign and evaluate current curriculum and add more activities that made the curriculum more relevant to the learners. Instead of working on writing sentences, we worked on writing grocery lists and notes to teachers of their children. We practiced reading and ordering from actual restaurant menus and studying workbooks from the DMV. These activities helped my students acclimate sooner to their new environment and learn new skills at the same time.
In my citizenship classes we discussed politics in America and in their home countries. We talked about cultural differences. We discussed and reflected on positive aspects of all cultures and things that should be kept, and perhaps parts of their culture that may need to be left behind. Allowing for equal discussion amongst their peers was not always easy, but fruitful.