Women of the World is thrilled to announce that we are holding numerous Free English Classes at our new office location. Our wonderful teachers give an hour or two every week to help refugees improve in this all important first skill that our new neighbors must learn. If you need help with your English, please consider attending.
Women of the World has started tutoring some in its community in English! We are happy to have partners from the BYU Students for International Development group making the long trek to Salt Lake City to volunteer as tutors and Professor Joan Dixon and Education Coordinator Ruth Arevalo developing the experiential curriculum.
Differentiation of English Language Learner Program
The English Language Learning program offered by Women of the World is different from others offered to Salt Lake City refugees...
Small group seating that fosters social relationships with little instructor lecturing
Students talking about situations where they used English in real life as opposed to grammar lessons
Walls covered with the levels of English proficiency that the class developed and the roles where they will use English.
Each discussion will foster the learners taking responsibility for their own learning, developing their own materials including a dictionary built based on subject/situation not the arbitrary alphabet, and doing most of the talking, expressing and being facilitated to learn the English “they wished they’d had” in daily situations of the past week.Another difference, important for funders, is that the results enabled by the course are not the traditional “teach to the test” but are based on the National Institute for Literacy’s Equipped for the Future (EFF) Standards. From the twice weekly, two-hour sessions, the Women of the World ELL students will define how different levels of learners progress in the below EFF standards and will then be measured on their own scale and their progress reported.[gn_quote style="3"]
Access needed information.
Take independent action.
Express their own ideas and opinions.
Keep up with a changing world.
Exercise their rights and responsibilities as family members, workers, and community members
[/gn_quote]One example of this from a class taught by Professor Dixon, defined a level 1 learner as “Name and greeting” while a level 2 learner was a “secret English speaker” – the difference being that a level 2 learner could communicate but the broken nature of their communication kept them from speaking. A progression through levels in each of the three roles will be the reported results for each learner. Women of the World expects an average of 1.5 level progression for each 40-class semester.
Salt Lake County Need for Refugee ELL Class
In closing, Women of the World would like to convey the excitement and need the community has expressed for this ELL program. Women who have some English skills express their concern over how their medical interpreter seems to not get all the right information communicated, women who have no English skills get more distant from their English-speaking teens and the whole community suffers, and a family without a second income suffers or is stuck on social assistance. While an improving English language learner targeting education can be measured with a test, because of the broad reach of a woman’s role in society, her literacy must improve in the laboratory of life, the classroom of the community.See more English Language Learner Training snippets on the Women of the World Youtube Channel at www.youtube.com/WomenOfTheWorldOrg/
Tonight Women of the World was granted a cash award to continue its work in educating women refugee English language learners. This grant was donated by theUtah Women's Alliance for Building Communities and will be used to develop a tutoring curriculum for teaching English language learners the basics in conversational English -- the language skills that they need in the grocery store, in the hospital, and to improve the lives of themselves and their families. Since Women of the World found one of its members unable to speak for herself when her landlord failed to fix the mold overtaking their apartment, we have been active in determining which language skills are essential for new immigrants and refugees to develop in order to build self-sufficiency -- we feel we have developed a good list in this regard.Women of the World was one of two grantees chosen from over 25 applicants. All grantees and awardees are performing gracious works of service and Women of the World is fortunate to be amongst such helpful and caring company. As founder Samira Harnish said in her acceptance speech, "with this grant, you have given women a voice to overcome their own struggles and I ensure you the first thank you letter is coming from a newly literate woman in the spring." You can see Samira's entire speech on WoW TV.