Being a person of faith means more than worship and prayer; it also means putting your faith into action. We believe that to truly honor God’s love and intention for a just world, it is up to us to put his words into action to create a world free from injustice. That is one of the reasons we developed our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. When people arrive here from other countries, seeking better lives for themselves and their children, they are confronted with the hard realities of not only acclimating to a new culture but in communicating in a new language. People from all walks of life cross our borders seeking to bring their talents, ambitions and hard work to achieve the American dream, but without English language skills, they often struggle just to get by.
We have partnered with Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) to develop a 12-week program for non-English speakers with beginner English-language skills. The 12-week program includes 2 classes per week for a total of 48 hours of in-classroom teaching. Research tells us that a person needs 90-100 hours of instruction to advance to the next level of language skill, so we encourage students to complete at least 2 sessions of 12 weeks. Upon completion of the course, JVS offers career counseling and support to help participants put their new language skills to use bettering their lives and reaching their full potential.
Each class is taught by a volunteer teacher who is assisted by 1-2 volunteer tutors to ensure an effective and personalized experience for the students. Class sizes range from 8-12 students who are grouped together based on their skill level to ensure all students are engaged and learning not only from the teachers, but from each other. The lesson plans are developed by JVS with a specific focus on how to communicate the basics in daily life, such as how to make medical appointments and participate in job interviews. In the past year, we have graduated 51 students from the ESOL program.
If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who would like to participate in the program, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (857) 990-3670.