On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, KOSD community members meet here for ESL and citizenship classes. We are happy to have been able to hire a teacher to come to KOSD to teach, thus offering classes here where community members feel comfortable. While case workers are busy up front, the sound of students practicing introductions, time clauses, and basic English expressions can be heard from the back of our office. In a community where 95% of adults have little to no English Language proficiency, these classes are an important part of helping refugees from Burma become more self-reliant. Our hope is that as members of our community learn English, they will better be able to become involved in the larger community of San Diego and to take advantage of all that their new home has to offer.
Mr. Michael, our ESL teacher, is passionate about helping his students. He has been involved with the community of refugees from Burma for some time as several members attend his church. Friendships made there sparked his interest in the community. Michael’s clearly spoken English and kind and caring demeanor puts his students at ease and attendance at his classes has been very good as a result. Michael can often be seen teaching while wearing a traditional cloth from Burma, another sign that he really cares about the culture of his students.
In addition to learning English, students in KOSD’s English class are also beginning their preparation for the American Citizenship test. Students drill questions about America’s political system, values, and history. Early practice for this challenging exam may help make the dream of citizenship a reality for some refugees from Burma.
KOSD is proud to help its community members learn English and we hope that our English program will continue to grow in the future!