Annie is an immigrant originally from Colombia, South America. She has studied in our Free English Program for Immigrants and Refugees, and last year was awarded a 3-month scholarship from Dean’s Beans to study 21 hours a week in our Intensive English Program. Annie took full advantage of that opportunity. She came to class daily, did her homework, stayed at ILI for hours working in the computer lab, chatting in English with other students (foreign and domestic), helped us with translations, volunteered in our office and at public events. She became a real fixture, and a real asset to ILI and to her classmates.
Jodie, lawyer and social worker, has been a long-time tutor, and became so enamored of the work that she took our Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate program. Already a great tutor, she now brings so much more to the table.
She and Annie hit it off from the first day they met. They are both energetic, positive people, with a lot of interests and lots to talk about. Annie is a more advanced student, so this posed new challenges for Jodie in her tutoring, but her TESOL training prepared her for this.
They have been meeting together for months, first face-to-face, and now virtually. Sometimes they sat together at a table here at the school, sometimes they take meet at local cafes so Annie can practice her English in different situations.
Recently, Annie wanted to work more on her academic writing, as preparation for possible college entry. Together, they discovered her interest in Wicca, and so Jodie made it a point to find a good book on Wicca. They read it, alone and together, and Jodie helps Annie as she composes academic essays which include citations as well as critical thought.
Annie tells me that ‘ed’ endings (washed, called, wanted) are “kicking [my] tongue,” and that she’s enjoying their newest project together, reading Dean Cycon’s book, Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World.
Reflecting on COVID-19, Annie says it “is giving me more ways to learn new vocabulary and pushing me to improve myself in all ways.”
Jodie and Annie really enjoy each other’s company, and Jodie has also become a confidant and resource for Annie, as she navigates her life here in the U.S.
Written by Amy Ben-Ezra, School Social Worker, Volunteer Coordinator