Paying It Forward with Literacy Volunteers
"If someone wants to live in the U.S., they should learn to speak the language!"
Have you ever heard someone spout that belief? I hear it on a regular basis, and it infuriates me.
People from other countries come to the United States for a variety of reasons: work, family, education, relief from a difficult political environment, surviving a natural disaster, or seeking the chance for an improved quality of life.
Leaving one's country of origin and having to learn the nuances of a new culture is a stressful life change. Having to learn a new language in order to function in a new country is a primary obstacle that speakers of other languages struggle with for years.
I have watched the population of Central Massachusetts become ever the melting pot as each year passes. I have listened to old-time residents complain about the newcomers who can't communicate in English. And I have decided that it is time for me to help ease the problem.
This fall, I underwent 18 hours of training to become a tutor with Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester. In this training, I and my fellow trainees learned that it takes the average person (child or adult) 12 years to master reading, writing, speaking, and comprehending a language. Twelve years to fully learn and use a language!
Literacy Volunteers painstakingly assists speakers of other languages in the journey of fluency in the use of English. As a volunteer tutor, I will be helping just one student improve his or her use of our country's native language.
The need for tutors in the Worcester area is great. Literacy Volunteers has a waiting list of over 60 students who seek help. I will meet my student this week and am excited to help this one person improve his or her quality of life in the U.S. But more help is needed. The next training session for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester starts in January. If you are also interested in helping someone improve their use of English, I urge you to contact the Literacy Volunteers and register for a training program.
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Text and photos copyright Kathryn J. Acciari unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.
Kathryn Acciari, RSPS, SRS, RESE, CFA
Century 21 MetroWest
45 Lyman Street Suite 14
Westborough MA 01581
Serving the Route 9/20 Corridors of Central Massachusetts
Sturbridge to Westborough
Cell: (508) 982-0686