Voices of the Valley

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ILI in the news! Caroline Gear, ILI’s executive director, speaks with MassLive about the important role ILI plays in the Pioneer Valley.

Caroline Gear, executive director, International Language Institute of Massachusetts, 25 New South St., Northampton

Years in business:  33

What do you offer and to whom?  The International Language Institute’s creative, practical world language classes are open to all in the Pioneer Valley. Our on-site classes for businesses help enhance employee English and Spanish skills to the benefit of the employees, business owners and customers. Our intensive English classes for international students improve their English skills and help many to matriculate into our college/university partner schools. ILI courses that train U.S. and international students in teaching English to speakers of other languages send certified teachers across the country and around the globe. And our free English evening classes for immigrants and refugees, coupled with our trained volunteer tutors, help these students gain the language skills needed to improve their lives and give back to their communities.

Why? What motivates you? Our talented, innovative teachers are dedicated to our mission, which centers on excellent teaching and support of multi-cultural communities that nurture diversity. I go to work every day, knowing I will meet new students with hope in their eyes. I see students such as the one in Italian class about to embark on a three-week trip to her grandparents’ former neighborhood outside Milan; or a student who is an immigrant who just completed a successful job interview and looks forward to contributing to a new workplace.

What sets you apart? The outstanding marks we receive from students, community supporters, business and university/college partners, and international accreditation institutions. All express their appreciation and high ratings on a regular basis, and that keeps us on the right path.

What mark do you hope to make on your community? Our goal is to continue as a positive influence in the Pioneer Valley and an impetus for learning and stronger, diverse communities. We believe that greater cultural understanding and acceptance can only strengthen what our country stands for and has been able to achieve.

Voices of the Valley is compiled by Janice Beetle of Beetle Press in Easthampton, a PR and communications firm. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for this feature, email Beetle at janice@beetlepress.com

Read the full article here.