We are called to work so that every person's dignity is respected, the immigrant welcomed as brother or sister, and all humanity forms a united family which knows how to appreciate with discernment the different cultures which comprise it.
-Pope John Paul II
IN THIS ISSUE:
Cindy Brown, Associate ESL Coordinator
Diana Gibson, Associate ESL Coordinator
Erin Maradiegue, Associate ESL Coordinator
Kristen Gasimov, Associate ESL Coordinator
Sheila Sullivan, Associate ESL Coordinator
Phil Spencer, Associate ESL Coordinator
6201 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044
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Greetings wonderful teachers! I hope your summer was peaceful and relaxing and that you are recharged and energized to resume teaching. For all of the new Hogar Hispano teachers: WELCOME! I hope that this semester is rewarding and meaningful for each and every one of you.
Fall is by far my favorite time of year, not only because two of my favorite days (my birthday and Halloween) take place, but also because of the pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides, haunted houses, football games, cool weather and changing leaves. It is also the time of the harvest when we reap all that was sown earlier in the year. Jacques Barzun once said “In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day’s work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.” The work that we do may not seem to have a measurable impact on a day-to-day basis. But when your student tells you that he got a new job doing data entry because his English improved so much, you know that the seeds of knowledge you planted have had a chance to grow and blossom.
Please check out our Fall Training Series schedule in this issue! There are many new trainings being offered at different times and locations. These trainings will help you do what you already do, even better. AND, as if you needed more incentive, this counts toward your required training hours for the year! Alternatively, do you have a training that you would like to give? Is there something in particular that you excel at that would benefit other teachers? If so, please contact Erin Maradiegue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the most recent Boot Camp, new teachers all agreed that they wanted to volunteer to help combat some of the anti-immigrant sentiment that is plaguing our communities. I’d like to thank everyone, both new and returning teachers, for helping us in Hogar Hispano’s mission to welcome the stranger. The generosity of your time and talents is overwhelming. Have a great October and a fantastic start to the semester!!!
Un abrazo fuerte,
ESL Program Coordinator
Remaining Fall 2007 Registration Dates!
Two more sites will be holding registration this fall! Classes are available at levels varying from Basic to Advanced. We welcome all adults interested in learning English and there are no residency requirements.
Hogar Hispano's Training Series
Looking for some new teaching tips and techniques to spice up your classroom and keep your students focused? We have just the thing! Beginning in October, Hogar Hispano will be offering a series of eight workshops with topics ranging from last minute activity ideas to showing you the classroom from your students perspective. With varying dates, locations, and times, one is sure to fit your schedule! Attendance at a training will count towards your 10-hour training requirement. Please RSVP to Erin Maradiegue at email@example.com with your name, teaching site, email, phone number, and which training you are planning to attend.
Using Dictionaries in the ESL Classroom
The ability to use a dictionary is something that many of us probably take for granted. But you should not assume that your students are comfortable or familiar with using a dictionary (though some may be). Many ESL students, especially those with less education in their native countries, may never have received explicit instructions on dictionary use. They may never have perused a dictionary and noticed the variety of resources it may contain. Teaching your students to use either a monolingual (English-English, such as the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English) ESL dictionary or a bilingual dictionary is an important skill that they can use inside and outside of the classroom.
Using a dictionary involves learning a number of things- alphabetization, parts of speech, reading phonetic spellings, and more. Pronunciation keys, common suffixes and prefixes, lists of irregular verbs and abbreviations are commonly found in dictionaries. Help your students understand how to use a dictionary through worksheets and games that involve finding definitions or other information within the dictionary. Not all students need to have the same dictionary for this to be effective.
While a dictionary is not the answer to every vocabulary question that your students may come up with, it is another learning tool that is fairly reliable. Also, it will help your students realize that you are not a dictionary, and give them skills that will make them more independent.
This Month We Salute Two of Hogar's Office Volunteers
Yaiseth Castillo is our newest super star Hogar Hispano office volunteer. She arrived in the area from Panama six months ago and works as an au pair. After dropping the children off at school, Yaiseth heads to the office to help out the team. “I want to spend my free time doing something good. I want to help people and support the Catholic Mission”, she says.
Yaiseth has a long history of volunteering. For the past three years she volunteered in Panama for her church’s Catechism program, helping children earn their First Communion rights.
In addition to her volunteer experience, Yaiseth attended the Universidad Technologia de Panama to study in the Programmer and Computer Analyst program. She also has five years experience as a database specialist. So what better way to use her talents than for her to help us enter our students into the student database?
Yaiseth has been a wonderful addition to the Hogar Team, and we’re extremely happy to have her.
Almost every Friday the ESL staff is thrilled to be joined in the office by Annandale High School senior Jaqueline Argueta. Jackie began volunteering almost one year ago after finding Hogar Hispano through a bulletin announcement at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Falls Church where she attends mass. She saw it as a great opportunity to help the Spanish-speaking community. Jackie’s parents are both from Guatemala and speak Spanish with her at home. Her bilingual skills are invaluable in the Hogar office and she frequently makes phone calls to students as part of her volunteer service. Speaking sweetly and humbly she reminds students of registration dates and class times, and assures those who have missed a few classes that they are welcome back whenever they can return. Jackie is a very dedicated volunteer and is always willing to help where she is needed.
At school she serves as treasurer of the Hispanic Leadership Club and a member of another student organization called SAFE (Stopping AIDS For Everyone). Jackie will be graduating in the spring and wants to continue her education by going to college. Hogar Hispano would like to thank Jackie for the work that she does and wishes her the best in all her future endeavors.
Recent Immigration Legislation Results in Contentious Enforcement Tactics
When the immigration resolution in Prince William County was approved, I never thought that I would be affected by this. I told myself I would never be questioned by the authorities because first and foremost, I am a documented citizen and secondly, I live in Maryland, but I guess fate decided to challenge me and my way of thinking.
During this exchange my husband was watching us from outside and he decided to come inside the store. He asked the two policemen if there was a problem. They answered that they were just asking me some questions and checking my identification. He asked them how many more forms of identification they needed. I had already provided two and what was the point of having identification if they were going to continue to ask for more. My husband said that I was in line getting a soda, not robbing the 7-Eleven. At this point one of the officers said they were checking because I was Hispanic. John was really angered by this revelation and answered that I was not Hispanic, I was Asian. Everyone inside the store was looking at us. I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life, so I asked the policemen if I could leave. They said yes and we went back to our car, but my husband was still mad about the whole situation.
We were in hurry because my uncle had recently passed away and my grandmother was awaiting a phone call regarding his remains. Because we were in a rush, it was not until after we left the store, and had a chance to analyze the whole situation, that my husband and I realized that we should have gotten the police officers’ names and badge numbers because what they did is unlawful. It made me realize how embarrassing and humiliating a similar situation would be for someone else, especially a person who does not know how to stand up for him or herself and does not know his or her rights.
Help Others to Become U.S. Citizens
Become a part of the citizenship process by volunteering to help fill out U.S. Naturalization applications at Hogar Hispano's Citizenship Workshop. Training is provided at the workshop.
When: December 1, 2007, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. Stay as long as you can.
Where: Arlington Mill Community Center, 4975 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
Contact: Diana Gibson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-534-9805
Lunch is provided
Workshops are held every six to eight weeks, so if you can't make this one, look out for the next one.