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.
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 for to learn. We are hear for to learn speak, for to learn write, for to learn read, for to learn listen. There are four skills. Everybody we need 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 a best life. But we have a problem because this beautiful country have [a lot of] opportunities, but almost everybody speak English here. So that is the main reason because we need to learn this language, everybody. We need to work hard for get it good. I think so. No we need to work hard just for living. We need to work hard for make difference. We need to make difference and help another 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 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.”
Written by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor