Posts Tagged ‘ESOL’

Literacy Council Corporate Partners share “An Hour with Author Wayne Caldwell”

Author Wayne Caldwell keynoted an event for the Literacy Council's Corporate Partners Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

Locally acclaimed author Wayne Caldwell keynoted an event for the Literacy Council’s Corporate Partners Monday, Jan. 23 aimed to both inspire new strategies for working together and provide a special experience for current partners. 

Wayne Caldwell’s Teachers Inspired His Craft

Caldwell spoke about the early influences that provided him the impetus to not only learn to read, but to read great works of literature. These influences included his adoptive mother and many teachers in the Enka community. A high school teacher even encouraged him to “write the Great American novel.” Caldwell knows that she would be proud, as his novel, Cataloochee, is a 2013 James Still Award winner and a Southern Independent Bestseller Award winner. Caldwell attributed his success to the encouragement he received throughout his childhood.

The Literacy Council Can Support Local Businesses

Robert Foster, of Biltmore Farms Hotels, presented about how his company has partnered with the Literacy Council for the past two years. During this time, the Literacy Council has provided English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at the DoubleTree Biltmore hotel for housekeeping employees. Robert shared stories of employees who had previously declined offers to move into higher positions because they were not confident enough in their English language skills. After spending time in ESOL classes, Robert now found the same employees approaching him more confidently and asking for new positions, in English! He found a way to encourage these employees to take the classes by lightening their workload the day they have class and providing lunch during class. Robert says he has seen such a benefit to his business that he plans to expand the program to other Biltmore Farms Hotels.

How Your Business Can Partner with the Literacy Council

A partnership between a corporation and the Literacy Council can be a critical step toward improving basic literacy and English language skills for employees or other contacts, which in turn improves employee retention, productivity, and promotability. Ultimately, adults with increased literacy and English language skills positively impact our local workforce, economy, and community.

To learn more about starting an on-site class or referring an employee in need of assistance, contact Ashley@litcouncil.com.

To learn more about how to support with the Literacy Council through your business, click here.

Special thanks to Malaprop’s Bookstore, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Lenior Rhine University, Sierra Nevada, and Biltmore Wines for contributing to the event.

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9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance

Image result for 9/11 national day of service and remembrance

Each year, the Corporation for National & Community Service spearheads the effort to encourage Americans to volunteer in their communities during national days of service. The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is a time where we can pay tribute to 9/11 victims, survivors, emergency responders, and others who were impacted by the attack. 

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County will be observing this national day of service during the week of September 12th – September 16th by encouraging tutors and their students to incorporate reading passages and learning exercises relevant to the following themes:

  • People coming together to rebuild community
  • Being aware of difference and understanding diversity (for example: discrimination and stereotypes)
  • Being linked to a global community
  • Immigrant experiences
  • Random acts of kindness and goodwill
  • Responding to emergencies 

Supplemental texts have been provided to our ESOL tutors to use in tutoring sessions this week, based on skill level. For curriculum resources that the Literacy Council of Buncombe County has available, see below:

Calling 911 Calling 911 (Beginner)

The lesson on “Calling 911” in the Health Stories text by Ann Gianola is perfect for teaching beginning learners important vocabulary related to emergency situations. Activities with this lesson might include having a dialogue with a 911 operator, identifying different medical emergencies, providing contact information to a first responder, or learning how to communicate needs.

A Country of Immigrants (Intermediate)A Country of Immigrants

The chapter on “A Country of Immigrants” in the Contact USA text by Paul Abraham and Daphne Mackey will allow intermediate learners to explore the experience of immigrants while practicing reading comprehension. Activities with this lesson might include a dialogue about where immigrants come from, what cultural differences exist, and how communities respond to newcomers. 

New Land, New Language

Fitting In (Advanced)

The lesson on “Fitting In” in the New land, New Language text by Maxine Berger and Martha Siegel provides advanced learners with an opportunity to learn about discrimination and stereotyping while practicing writing skills. Activities with this lesson might include using adjectives to describe people, using adjectives to compare people, and writing about individual experiences with discrimination. 

The supplemental texts that were selected for tutors to use during the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance will help tutors and students have meaningful conversations around the lasting impact of this tragedy. 

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WLOS Features Citizenship Program

On July 14, WLOS aired a story on the increased number of people seeking citizenship during this election year. The five-minute segment features a Literacy Council student, volunteer tutor, and our ESOL Director, Erin Sebelius.

The Literacy Council has offered a citizenship preparation option for almost ten years, and our students have a 100% success rate on the U.S. Naturalization Exam. This year, there is renewed motivation in casting one’s vote. “They have to hear your voice and your voice is your vote,” says Noe Herrera, who recently passed the exam.
 
The Literacy Council’s ESOL director, Erin Sebelius, said, “I think people are afraid, I do. … I can’t say how they’re going to vote but they’re Latinos, they’re immigrants, and they want to vote for a reason.”
 
Generally, there are spikes in citizenship applications during any election year. 

Learn More

Watch the video above and click here to read the accompanying article.
Click here to learn about the Literacy Council’s English for Speakers of Other Languages program.
 

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Success Story – A Family Learns Together

successes-2014-julyJesus, Alma’s eldest son, arrived second. A gentle soul, he quietly completed intake testing with his tutor, Mary Miller. Just the mention of his name brings a smile to her face. She says, “Jesus enjoys all the aspects of the Augustine Project® lessons. He loves the phonics games and is quick to laugh. He is a curious learner.”

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Success Story – Steve and Dulce

Literacy Council Tutor Visits Student’s Family in Mexico

successes-2014-june3The bond between a tutor and student can grow very strong- and sometimes stretch for thousands of miles. ESOL tutor Steve Hopkins recently traveled to Mexico with his wife, and spent a day with the family of his LCBC student, Dulce Rivera. Steve and Dulce have been working together for over four years to improve Dulce’s English and to enable her to support her children’s education. Steve has become very close with Dulce and the children, and has often helped them with their homework in addition to tutoring Dulce.

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