What we like about winter…

December 24, 2019

 

This past month we have been discussing seasons, especially winter as the snow has come to visit us in South Dakota.  Of course with this topic comes winter safety and winter driving and all the reasons we don’t like winter.  However, I asked my students to tell me three things they like about winter weather.  Here are a few of their answers:

 

christmas2019snow

The Beautiful View of the Big Sioux River in December

  • I like winter because my children love to play in the snow. They make snowmen and throw snowballs. They build snow forts every winter.  Snow can be a lot of fun.
  • I like winter because snow falls down. All places are very white. Some people don’t like snow because snow is too cold, but small kids need snow because they like sledding.
  • I like the snow. It is white. I like the winter.  My kids like it a lot and play.  My kids make snowmen, snow forts, and they like sledding.  For this reason, I like winter because my kids get excited to play in the snow.
  • I like cold because it’s good for my health. I like to play with my nephews outside because it’s so fun. In the season of winter, we celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.
  • I like wintertime because I get my tax return. I need money for my family. In wintertime, there are many holidays.  I like to be off and stay at home and rest from work.
  • Staying at home is good because I take time to relax and drink hot chocolate and watch movies.

 

christmas2019hotcoco

 

  • In winter, I like reading a book in front of the window, watching the snow fall down. It feels good. I like to take pictures to remember that I was frozen and it was fun!  I like to spend time at home with my family.  It feels comfortable and warm.
  • It is fun to see the white stuff fall from the sky. The ice and snow beautify the city.
  • I like winter because I can eat a lot of food. I like to sleep at night, but it is freezing cold!
  • I like winter because it is Christmas time and I can have fun with my family.
  • I stay home all day most of the time talking together with family. We make tea, coffee, and see the outside view. I like a white Christmas.  I want Christmas time to have a lot of snow.

 

Here is wishing you have time to appreciate the beautiful snow, build snowmen, have snowball fights, stay warm, and drink lots of hot chocolate this winter!

 

christmas2019

 

Have a wonderful Christmas

this week

from all of us

here at the

Center for New Americans! 

MERRY

CHRISTMAS!

 

Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor

300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103

1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax

 


What’s in a Name?

December 10, 2019

names1

It is a unique world that I teach in. On a typical day I have students from Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Congo, Burundi, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Ukraine…and a handful of other countries. I find that even what appears to be the simplest name may actually be a tongue twister for my American English tongue.

 
And yet, I am told, and firmly believe, that names show respect to people and help to create community and camaraderie. More importantly, as a teacher, it shows that I care when I try to pronounce a name correctly, even if I fail miserably.

 
And just What’s In a Name?

 
My obsession with names began long ago. I would spend hours as a child going over my grandmother’s name book and carefully pick out the best names with the best meanings for my future children…or a character in my most recent attempt at novel writing.
When I became an English instructor at LSS, my obsession with names continued. I found it fascinating to hear all the different names and pronunciations. I also found it intriguing that all my Nepalese women seemed to have the same middle name…Maya…and my Nepali men a common middle name…Bahadur. In fact I was so intrigued that I finally asked why? After a lengthy explanation, my students told me that Maya means “love” and Bahadur means “bravery.” They also informed me that first names, too, had meanings, such as Santi means “peace,” Chhabi means “key,” and Phul means “flower.”

names2
Recently I was able to discuss names with some of my other students from around the globe. We discussed: Who chose their name? Does their name have a special meaning? What is common practice with naming children in their home countries? Students were more than eager to share with me (and often laugh with me as I tried very hard to get the names right).

 
One interesting thing I learned was that a student from Sudan was named according to the day of the week. If a child was born on a Tuesday, the girls were all one name and the boys another, and then of course the other days had their own corresponding names. He said though that things have changed over the years, and this is not necessarily followed any more.

 
Additionally, another Sudanese student shared that children receive their own name plus the name of their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Thus a child could be named Aziza Mohammed Ali Osman (child-father-grandfather-great-grandfather’s names respectively) and this goes for either a boy or a girl.

 
My own name was always kind of an embarrassment for me as a child, and even today I have students calling me “Hi There,” “He There,” and “Heater.” Coincidentally a gentleman from Ethiopia shared that he, too, was always embarrassed about his name as a child as it is not a common name. In fact it was at the suggestion of a family friend that he received his moniker. Then one day he heard his name (at the refugee camp no less) and there was another with his name. He said he was so relieved to meet someone else with his name.

names3
Finally, for today, a student from China explained that their name means “Red Sun.” For him, this was a good name, to be named for the beautiful red sun in the sky. Certainly this was a name that he was proud of, just as my other students are proud of their names and their heritage…just as I am proud of my name and my heritage, too.

 

Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor
300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103
1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax


When We Reach Our Dreams! New Citizens in South Dakota

November 12, 2019
studentsandteachersatcitceremony

LSS Teachers pose with two new American citizens after the ceremony

September 6, 2019, was a magnificent day for many reasons.  For starters, it is was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, a reminder of our quickly ending summer.  Secondly, on that day 200 people from 37 different countries became United States citizens right here in Sioux Falls.

Just what does it mean to be a citizen of the United States?  It says on my passport that I am a citizen of the United States, but somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I know that my ancestors loved other countries: Germany, Norway, Prussia, and England.  However, although these places are intriguing for me, I have pride and love for only one country, the United States of America.

newcitswithamericanflag

Two New American Citizens pose with the American Flag

The same goes for our new citizens.  They have pride and love for this new country.  To come to this country, they left behind everything they knew and loved in hopes to start a new life, a better life, a safer life, and to be part of the American dream.  As the keynote speaker fittingly said, it is with utmost dedication and determination that people are willing to leave their homeland, their “most sacred,” to come to America.

So as I watched 200 new citizens swear the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, I found it very fitting that the opening speaker had mentioned the stamina and determination of their own ancestors and had admonished, “I really hope you never lose that internal resolve that brought you here to the United States.”

A New American citizen folds the flag to the National Anthem

 

Then later as the mayor spoke, I had to agree with him that our community is full of diversity and that our “new citizens have a voice and responsibility to participate,” and to be “a part of this city, this community,” through voting, mentoring, and volunteering.

Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor

300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103

1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax


Students Celebrate Success at Center for New Americans: Part 1

October 8, 2019

It was a joyous day for many students at the Center for New Americans as they celebrated their achievements at the end of the quarter.

Over a three month period, 70 students graduated out of at least one level of English.  Students and teachers celebrated with an award ceremony, food, music, and speeches.

AM speaker

During one impassioned speech, a student answered the question, why are students so dedicated to learning English?  She shared a moving story of her first flight to the United States and how embarrassing it was to not understand anything around her at the airport.  However, she says:

And here I’m after a year and 7 months and studying English.  I don’t speak it correctly.  I don’t write it correctly, but I feel safer to go to the clinic or the store and the airport and ask for what I need.  I will continue studying English until I finish all levels and speak it correctly.  I have two reasons for this…

The first because I would like to be a good example for my daughters, that they see that although I struggle to learn, I try hard and I commit myself to continue studying, so they will do the same with their studies.  I believe that my example is very important even though they are adults.

The second reason why I have as a goal to speak English correctly is because I would like to work or volunteer to be a nurse’s assistant in a hospital.  I have hope in my heart.  I have a lot of faith that I will achieve.  I believe I can learn English.

Students and teachers sing a special South Dakota version of the John Denver song “Country Roads”

The Day was fun, inspiring, and we look forward to many more successes.  Make sure to catch us again soon when we share more inspiring speeches and photos from the student celebration.

IMG_1762

Some of the Morning Graduating Students Pose With Their Certificates

 

Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor

300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103

1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax


Black Hills Federal Credit Union Donation

August 13, 2019
blackhillscreditunioncheck

Black Hills Credit Union presents the Center for New Americans with a check for $1800.00

 

Community support is vital to our success.  Recently the Black Hills Federal Credit Union chose to lend a helping hand and support our English program here at the Center for New Americans.  A donation of $1800.00 was given towards the purchase of much needed document readers in our classrooms, and with this donation, we were able to purchase a document reader for every classroom. In addition, their generous donation enabled us to purchase extra headphones, new power adapters for our laptops, and a replacement laptop for our mobile student computer lab.  Our instructors are so thrilled and very thankful for the new document cameras that enable them to project images of papers and other items on the whiteboards.  The Doc Cams were immediately put to use.

Students at the Center for New Americans range in age from 18 to 95. Some of the students come as far away as Bhutan or China or as close as Eritrea or Congo.  Some students are neighbors from El Salvador or Venezuela.  Some students come with minimal English whereas others may have a great foundation.  Regardless, all the students have one common goal:  Learn More English.

blackhillscredituniondoccameras

New Document Cameras Waiting to be Installed in the Classrooms

All our students will benefit greatly from this generous gift as teachers use them in the classroom.

We want to thank the Black Hills Federal Credit Union for their dedication to the community and their wonderful support to our program.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

https://www.bhfcu.com/

Students using one of the document cameras and headphones to learn how to use tablets in the classroom.

 

doccampic1

LSS English Instructor Laura uses the document camera in the classroom

 

 

A document camera is used to project a workbook map during citizenship class.

Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor

300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103

605-731-2041 Teacher’s Office | 1-866-242-2447 toll free | 605-731-2059 fax

www.LssSD.org


Why English? From the Mouth of a Student

July 9, 2019

Refugees-around-the-world

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


Home Remedies from Around the World Part 1

May 7, 2019

This past month we have been talking about health care with our students. In my upper level English class, we discussed some home remedies that my students use. I learned so much from them!

 

Home Burn Remedies

stacked tomatoes onions and potatoes

From cooking mishaps to fun in the summer sun, we all have burns sometimes.  Here are a few of the responses I received from my students on the best ways to take care of them.

El Salvador ~ When I get a burn, I use aloe vera on my burn. I put tomato on it and then I feel better. I put cold water on the burn. I use honey and put on the burn.
Iraq ~ When I burn my hand, I will put tomato paste on a burn.
Venezuela ~ When I have a burn, I put onion on it, I rinse in a lot of cold water, or I put a slice of potato on it.

a jar of honey
So naturally I had to look up the benefits of putting a tomato slice on a burn, and sure enough there is a chemical called lycopene in tomatoes that reduces the heat from a burn and helps relieve the pain. Additionally honey has antiseptic properties for burns, and potato slices, especially the peel of a potato, will hold a lot of water and keep a burn from drying out too fast. Finally onion juice, too, has natural pain relievers.

 

Home Cough Remedies

 

artful pic of honey paste with garlic
The cold season is finally winding down, but allergy season is making its presence known, so my students gladly gave me ideas to help with coughing.

Guatemala ~ When I have cough, I drink hot water with honey and ginger.
Ukraine ~ When I have a cough, I drink tea with honey, ginger, and lemon.
Ethiopia ~ I drink milk with honey and garlic. I mix garlic and milk together. I boil for a few minutes and after that drink I feel better.
Eritrea ~ When I have a cough, I drink warm water. I drink lemon with tea. I take vitamin C; for example, lemon, tomatoes, or an orange. We have to drink hot water early in the morning.

 

artful pic of milk and garlic
The remedy that surprised me most here was the garlic and honey milk. Although both garlic and honey are said to have benefits for colds and coughs, I do not know if I could stomach warm garlic milk. I might have to stick to the other suggestions.

 

woman contemplating drinking a glass of milk

 

Catch me next time when I discuss even more home remedies!

Written by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor


%d bloggers like this: