“I couldn’t imagine coming to a new place having to learn a new language.”
“I would catch myself using slang phrases then realize that those words don’t mean anything to them.”
“I couldn’t believe what they have to know [for citizenship]! I couldn’t answer any of their questions!”
“It was fun! Can I come back?”
These are just some of the comments made by South Dakota State University nursing students who recently volunteered in English and citizenship classes at the Center for New Americans as part of their coursework in working with diverse populations. Prior to interacting with the refugee and immigrant clients in the classrooms, the nursing students received information on refugee resettlement and orientation in speaking with people with limited English abilities.
Cynthia, a Nursing Instructor with SDSU, shared, “You can’t learn everything from a book. Here they can have conversations and really see what it is like to talk to someone with a lower English level. That’s going to help them when they work with them in their careers.”
For more information on volunteering at the Center for New Americans as an individual or as a class, contact Kristyne at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 731-2009.