Grant Is Supporting ESL classes

pathNot so long ago, the Maplewood Memorial Library received the largest grant ever in the Library’s history.

The grant ($72,053) came from he pilot program of the Adult Literacy & Community Library Partnership (New Jersey’s Department of Labor & Workforce Development), and is a great help to fund the Library’s ESL (English as a second language) program. The Maplewood Memorial Library library is using the grant for 4 level-1 ESL courses and 2 conversation groups.

The courses are offered in partnership with the Passaic and Essex counties Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA) chapters, and are available at no cost.

People who don’t speak English encounter serious disadvantages when they apply for a job, when they want to use a computer, or when writing their name, resumes, or filling out forms.

People who are not able to speak and communicate in English have greater disadvantages in the workforce community and cannot be part of their community like people who do command the language.


At the moment, the Maplewood library is providing ESL instruction through the LVA, but the new fund allows for teacher-led classes being that are more rigorous.

Learners in the ESL classes will be taught basic communication skills, whereas … Read the rest

More Seniors Need ESL Skills Improvement

download-44The Howell Senior Center is planning to provide an ESL (English as a Second Language) course starting early September.

Melanie Decker, Director of the Senior Center, made clear that there is growing demand for this kind of service because the non-native speaking part of the population is increasing, and lack of transportation options make ESL lessons in Howell really needed.

The Howell Township Senior Center’s membership grows every day, says Decker, and over the last two years, we’ve seen an enormous increase in the amount of people who have only limited or no command of English, and as they don’t have adequate (if any) transportation options to attend an ESL class, our community’s seniors may feel even more alone and isolated.

The Howell Senior Center is already offering transportation services for all of its members, so participants of the the ESL class (spearheaded by social worker Ann Albano) could avail themselves of this. at. The ESL class also comes with instruction in conversational skills, as they form the basis of any language course.


Ann Albano says her goals for ESL instruction are the improvement of the partaking adults’ everyday communication skills, and the enhancement of their social interactions both in … Read the rest

You Should Not Mispronounce A Student’s Name

international-studentsAre you aware that if you mispronounce a student’s name, you are negating the student’s identity? Mispronouncing a student’s name many well be leading to resentment and anxiety which may lead to less academic progress.

Pronouncing the name of a student correctly will help build a positive school culture and is only respectful to students and their families.

Over the last decades, we’ve seen a national increase regarding students’ overall graduation rates in the U.S., but the dropout rate for immigrant or foreign-born students remains above the 30% mark,  well over three times the dropout rate for white, U.S.-born students.

We know that for many English Language Learners (ELL’s), the mispronunciation of their name is all too often the first of many setbacks they are experiencing in the classroom, while they are already very unlikely to work with a curriculum that respects or reflects their specific culture, or meet teachers who are speaking their native language.


All these factors may hinder their academic progress. In San Jose, California, a junior at Rock Charter High School, a downtown San Jose College Prep Alum Program, is named Michelle-Thuy Ngoc, and her name is pronounced ‘knock twee’.

She is part of a group … Read the rest

Easy English Times aims to improve adult literacy

5730c7487e162-imageMany students from all over the world, when they’re looking to learn how to speak and read in English, are turning to The Easy English Times, a Napa-based newspaper publication.

For over two decades now, The Easy English Times has been a crucial ‘real-life’ resource for programs that are developed to enhance students’ literacy skills and English proficiency.

The newspaper is an 8-page publication that’s printed and published 10 times per year and gets distributed all around the world.

The Easy English Times contains posts on current events, citizenship, and life skills, and it also includes posts written by and on students. The paper’s pieces appear at varying difficulty levels to accommodate an array of readers and students as wide as possible.


Betty Malmgren is the newspaper’s publisher, and she started the publication together with a few other students when she realized that many ESL (English as a Second Language) classes used outdated and very expensive textbooks.

Malmgren had been a journalist herself, and she decided that bringing out a ‘newspaper’ would absolutely be a workable alternative to expensive textbooks, as it is relatively easy and affordable to do. The Easy English Times was at first only used at local … Read the rest