The Education Department is committed to giving refugees and immigrants the tools they need to advance toward their goals. Any of IIA’s classes—English (ESOL), citizenship, GED, and financial literacy—fuel great accomplishments such as a successful job interview, a passing score on the citizenship exam, or even a sense of connection to their new community. Because seven different levels of ESOL are available along with other learning opportunities, students can find just the right amount of challenge. Classes are futher enhanced by various guest speakers from the community who supplement a curriculum already focused on essential lifeskills for thriving in the U.S. For instance, students learn about making appointments, where to find hospitals, how to see what their insurance covers, how to take buses to different clinics, and about buying generic vs. prescription drugs. Student also take field trips to learn about local resources.
The 580 students registered for a class in 2013 represented a very diverse population: participants come from Asia, South and Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Here’s what some ESOL students had to say about their English classes:
Hi my name is Sana’a. I’m from Syria. I’m really interested in these classes, English classes. And we had an opportunity to know many people here from many different countries. And we like also the way how they are teaching us and all of us working as one team. Thank you.
Apatorbor: Yeah, the English class is a very interesting class, and I love it. I’ve been here for some few months now and I’m much improved on my English, I think so. If I’m right. And I want people to come around and learn something good because there are good things going around here.
Hi my name is Yana and I’m originally from Czech Republic. I like these classes because I met lots of nice people here and we learn by fun way English. Our teacher is really good, and I enjoy the time to spend here, and learn a lot. The classes are a really good quality, and I would like to thank the International Institute for this opportunity.
My name is Anya, I’m from Ukraine and I like English class because when I have to wake up every morning, it’s much easier to wake up if I know that I’m going to my English class because it’s so much fun and so many awesome people, and you can learn something that even native speakers don’t know.
Tomàs: I think English class is a very good thing because I need to improve my English for better. Is a very fun class which I think I’m learning a lot. It fits very well with my schedule which is one of the reasons why I came here it is very flexible. It is very important to keep learning something always and that’s why I’m here.