Tutor-to-Tutor Network on Facebook

The real work of the Volunteer English Program is accomplished by our dedicated tutors, who volunteer three hours per week out of their busy lives to help a person learn English. Although the staff here at VEP is always available to help, our tutors are quite resourceful, knowledgeable, and clever, and they often develop excellent lessons and strategies of their own. Still, we all get “stuck” once in a while and struggle to think of a lesson or a way to clarify something difficult. Even the best of us needs inspiration occasionally.

We often publish “tutor tips” in our eNews to tutors, as well as provide electronic resources on the website. But wouldn’t it would be wonderful for tutors to be able to share their success stories with each other in real time? To write about a lesson that worked well, a field trip, a way of explaining something that just “clicked” with a student? Or to ask questions to each other about specific issues?

Facebook can be the tool for us to create this network together. But we need your help. The Volunteer English Program has a Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Volunteer-English-Program/187193364639020. You can “like” us there, as well as post messages to fellow tutors. Please check out our fan page and stay up-to-date with our events and announcements. If you’re on Facebook, we ask you to please take a moment to connect with us. Please write a brief post about your favorite or most successful lesson or your most meaningful moment as a tutor.

If you are not on Facebook, don’t fret; there are other ways to stay in touch with us. You can look at our fan page on Facebook by searching “Facebook Volunteer English Program”: you will be able to read what others have posted there, but you won’t be able post anything yourself. As always, the eNews will keep coming your way, and the website is chock-full of ESL links.

by Patricia Morgioni, Program Coordinator

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My “Daughter” Magali

by Ruth Passo, VEP Board Member and Tutor

Magali and I met a little over three years ago through the VEP program. Her husband, Jose, had been transferred here from Venezuela with SAP, a large German high tech company with US headquarters nearby. Magali had also worked at SAP as a consultant but was not offered a job with the relocation. So, a little after two weeks of moving here, she was actively seeking ways to improve her English skills with an ultimate goal of finding a job here.

While her conversational skills were of a decent intermediate level, she needed more advanced grammatical and vocabulary improvements on both a verbal and written level. We immediately started working on her resume and met at my house two times a week. We bonded immediately and enjoyed each other’s company as well.

Over the next few months, we worked hard. As interview opportunities arose, we practiced and talked about the types of questions that might be posed and appropriate responses. As a result of her serious efforts, she eventually received a great opportunity to interview with WaWa. After a series of contacts, the company requested that she prepare a mock powerpoint presentation to further review her English language capabilities. Also, the company had never hired a foreigner before. Eventually, she was hired.

It is now almost three years since then, and the company has been extremely happy with her performance. Recently, she joined the company’s Diversity Council, which has a greater Philadelphia footprint. The attached picture with Mayor Nutter took place at a recent, annual Diversity Council gala.

As a footnote, Magali and her husband liked my home so much they bought the same model just a block away. And 2 ½ years ago, they had their first child, Valentina, who is my “granddaughter.” We are a very close “family” and have even planned vacations together. The special one-on-one VEP program is more than just an English language program for me. It is a special opportunity to become connected with someone from another culture and to learn a lot about each other in the process.