Betty is waiting for a tutor. A 25 year old Mexican woman, she is eager and hopeful to learn English and improve life for her and her family. She has a husband and a beautiful 2-year-old son, but no other family or friends here in the United States. After three years of living here, she is picking up some English, yet she tests as a low beginner.
She is very motivated and attempts to teach herself as much a possible, by watching English-language TV only (not Spanish). She told me she reads books to her little boy “for the practice the mouth” (i.e. pronunciation), but she does not understand the words. She opened her notebook to show me all the words she copies in pencil and then looks up in the Spanish-English dictionary. She cannot write at all, except rote tasks like her name and address. She needs to learn how to say the alphabet. Yet through sheer determination, she was able to call me for an appointment and communicate with me if I spoke slowly.
“I want learn English so much!” she tells me with a big smile, and goes on to express her desire to help her son, find a job for herself, and interact with her community. Like the 60+ students on our waiting list, Betty is a great reason to give your time to the Volunteer English program.
by Patricia Morgioni, Program Coordinator