Why English? From the Mouth of a Student

LSS Center for New Americans
Heather Glidewell, ESL InstructorHeather Glidewell, ESL Instructor

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, a total of 22,491 refugees came to the United States in 2018, and the largest number of refugees came from the countries of Congo, Myanmar, Ukraine, Bhutan, and Eritrea.  It goes without saying that the main languages of these countries are not English but rather Congolese, French, Kayah, Ukrainian, Russian, Tigrinya, Kunama, and a handful of other tribal languages.  For these grateful refugees, it becomes a matter of extreme importance to learn English once they reach the United States.  To simply navigate a grocery store or secure employment or pay a bill, refugees must have a basic working knowledge of English.  That’s where the instructors at LSS step in, providing a hand up to help get over the mountain.  We are so very proud of our students’ accomplishments and dedication.

Refugees-around-the-world

Recently one such enthusiastic student spoke about the importance of learning the English language.  Here is what he passionately told all the other students here at the Center for New Americans:

“So this is my first time talking in public.  I’m nervous.  I’m pretty sure I will have too many mistakes, but that’s okay because that is the reason we are here.

We are here to learn.  We are here to learn to speak, to learn write, to learn to read, to learn to listen.  There are four skills.  Everybody we need to learn that.

I know it’s no easy.  But nothing is easy in this life.  So I think if you work hard if you work with discipline and consistency, you can get it.

So almost everybody here in this room, we have something in common.  We are here to this beautiful country, finding something.  Finding the best life.  But we have a problem because this beautiful country has [a lot of] opportunities, but almost everybody speaks English here.  So that is the main reason because we need to learn this language, everybody.  We need to work hard to get it good.  I think so.  Know we need to work hard just for living.  We need to work hard to make a difference.  We need to make a difference and help other people, every day.  So for that, we need dreams.  We need dreams, but no just dreams, we need dreams with goals because dreams without goals are just dreams.  We need to say life goals, yearly goals, monthly goals, daily goals, every day.  And we need to work hard.  So I believe in everybody.  I believe in me.  I think so, you just, we need to keep going and get it.  So I think so, that’s it.”

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