by Rachel Blackmer
English Skills Learning Center
The English Skills Learning Center (ESLC) had a class graduation for employees of the University of Utah who participated in a Workplace English class provided by the ESLC. Twelve students received certificates congratulating them on the progress they made on the post-tests at the end of the class. The employees who participated in the class were from Somalia, Mexico, Croatia, Guatemala, and Bhutan and had varying levels of English ability. The students learned how to fill out work forms, call in sick or late to work, give directions to visitors on campus, ask clarifying questions when given directions from supervisors, and report problems to supervisors.
One of the students, Bedha, is from Nepal and had only lived in the U.S. for 8 months when he started attending the classes. He had attended college and had been a teacher in Nepal. At the class graduation, he gave a speech about what he had learned in the class and said that this class had helped him make the decision to go to college! He plans to attend Salt Lake Community College later on this year. This encouraged some of the other students to also look into taking college courses. The successes of these students exemplify the powerful results of the ESLC’s mission to bring the promise of integration, security, and empowerment to adult English language learners in Salt Lake County.
English Skills Learning Center works with United Way of Salt Lake as a Strategy Partner. English Skills Learning Center serves Kearns, South Salt Lake, and West Valley City by training volunteers to teach and supervise English classes for the growing adult newcomer population.