by Laura Smith-Hill
Each year the LSS Center for New Americans (CNA) facilitates a “Student Survey Day.” On this day, the program provides interpreters and staff to assist students with completing on-line agency client satisfaction surveys. All fourteen program laptops and all twenty-two tablets are pulled out to assist more than 150 students with completing these surveys throughout one very busy day.
But our program does not stop there! We take this opportunity to inform students about all the classes available to them though the LSS CNA (English speaking classes, English literacy classes, computer classes, workforce training classes, citizenship classes). I, as the Education Program Coordinator, give them a short motivational speech about the journey of acquiring a new language, what they can do to help themselves learn English more quickly and to let them know how we, as their instructors, strive to do our best to help them meet their life goals!
Part of us being our best as English language instructors is taking the time to hear honest feedback from our adult learners. That’s where our student survey discussions come in.
We have students divide up into native language groups with interpreters to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the questions below. Here are the most common responses of our student body.
2018 Student Survey Feedback
1. Why do you want to learn English?
1. To communicate and speak with people.
2. To get a job or a better job.
3. It’s the national language.
2. What do you think of this program?
2. Very good teachers
3. Free/not expensive
3. A Great Teacher:
1. Repeats a lot
2. Gives multiple examples
3. Is happy
4. What’s most challenging about learning English?
1. Writing and spelling
2. Speaking and pronunciation
5. How can the teachers help you more?
1. Repeat tasks, words, sentences more to increase student understanding.
2. Offer more hours of class time.
3. More writing, reading, homework and grammar (such as verb tenses).
6. What do you want to learn more about?
1. Speaking and writing
4. Vocabulary and spelling
We take our students’ feedback, suggestions and ideas very seriously. I read each and every groups’ survey notes, share the student body feedback with all our teachers, then we review and debrief the input as an Education Team. We use the students’ feedback to inform our on-going professional and programmatic development.
“Student Survey Day” inspires us as a teaching team. We are reminded of the humility and dedication of our students, and are humbled by their recognition and gratitude for the work we do for them each day. We are blessed to have the opportunity to serve our students through our profession as teachers and to contribute toward the mission of LSS: Inspired by God’s love, we care for, support and strengthen individuals, families and communities.