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

ESL Staff:

Amy White, ESL Program Coordinator
awhite@ccda.net, x235

Cindy Brown, Associate ESL Coordinator
cbrown@ccda.net, x239

Diana Gibson, Associate ESL Coordinator
dgibson@ccda.net, x231

Erin Maradiegue, Associate ESL Coordinator
emaradiegue@ccda.net, x251

Kristen Gasimov, Associate ESL Coordinator
kgasimov@ccda.net, x237

Sheila Sullivan, Associate ESL Coordinator
ssullivan@ccda.net, x238

Phil Spencer, Associate ESL Coordinator
pspencer@ccda.net, x243

Hogar Hispano
6201 Leesburg Pike
Suite 307
Falls Church, VA 22044
(T) 703-534-9805
(F) 703-534-9809

If you would like to have this newsletter sent to a different e-mail address or if you would like to unsubscribe from the mailing list, please e-mail emaradiegue@ccda.net.

Amy's Ramblings

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

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,

Amy White
ESL Program Coordinator

ESL Updates

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.
St. Bernadette
7600 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, Virginia 22152
Levels: Basic, Beginner, and Intermediate
Registration: Saturday, September 29, 10 am – 12 pm
Classes: Saturday, 10 am – 12 pm
Woodbury Park
2335 N. 11th Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201
Levels:Beginner, Intermediate
Registration: Monday and Wednesday, October 10 and 12, 6-8 pm
Classes: Monday and Wednesday, 6 - 7:30 pm, 7:30 - 9 pm


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
emaradiegue@ccda.net with your name, teaching site, email, phone number, and which training you are planning to attend.

Choose the News! Using Media In the Classroom
Trainers: Sheila Sullivan and Diana Gibson
October 11, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Hogar Hispano Office, Falls Church
The news is one of the most readily available and authentic materials around and can offer a clear window into our American culture. Using news in many of its various formats can give students a deeper understanding of U.S. perspectives and lifestyles and can be a great resource for any ESL classroom. This training will show you ways to incorporate news, how to choose resources appropriate to your class and level, and fun classroom activities that will inspire your students to choose the news outside of the classroom as well!
Immersion Works! (Given in Azeri)
Trainer: Kristen Gasimov
October 16, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Our Lady of Angels Church, Woodbridge
“I don’t speak Spanish. Are my students really going to understand me if I just speak English?” ESL teachers often have this dilemma. Many who don’t know Spanish are skeptical that they can be successful ESL teachers. This training will show participants that it is possible to teach students (even beginners) using only English in the classroom. A lesson will be given completely in Azeri, demonstrating how using body language, realia, and repetition eliminate the need to speak the native language in class.
Low-Prep Activities
Trainers: Diana Gibson and Kristen Gasimov
October 20, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Hogar Hispano Office, Falls Church
Have you ever (perish the thought) forgotten about lesson planning until the last minute? Have you ever run out of things to do before the class is over? We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to you! This training is full of ideas that require little-to-no preparation, but are still big hits in the classroom. We’ll even show you how to adapt the activities you know and love for those times when you can’t get all the materials. You’ll leave equipped to teach class confidently and without slaving away on prep work.
Error Correction and Checking Comprehension
Trainers: Cindy Brown and Erin Maradiegue
October 23, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Christ the Redeemer Church, Sterling
The most important skill adult ESL students need to acquire is effective oral communication, aka speech. In this training we will review useful tips for maximizing students’ speaking time during class, and introduce teachers to useful methods for correcting speech errors. How can you make your classroom a comfortable environment in which students are not afraid to make mistakes while still making necessary error corrections and pointing out problems? Learn how to encourage your students to self-correct errors that they make. Discover tricks for correcting errors quickly and quietly without interrupting a student’s train of thought or putting them on the spot in front of the class. Discuss what types of errors require instant individual correction and which ones can be addressed later as a whole group.
Keep them coming! Student motivation and retention
Trainer: Tom Bello
October 27, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Hogar Hispano Office, Falls Church
Our students have busy lives-work, family, and the trials of a new country are in constant competition for their attention. So how do you keep the majority of your students coming back class after class? Hear from experienced Fairfax County Adult ESL teacher Tom Bello about techniques you can use to create a sense of community in the classroom and motivate your students to return every week. Tom has been teaching since 1979 beginning as a volunteer. Today he teaches ESL at the Willston Multicultural Center in Falls Church.
Teaching a Multilevel Class
Trainers: Erin Maradiegue and Sheila Sullivan
November 3, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Hogar Hispano Office, Falls Church
Whether you teach a beginner, intermediate or advanced class, there are always students of varying levels and abilities within a classroom. How do you meet the needs of all learners and keep everyone’s attention? In this training, discover how to identify your students’ goals as adult English learners and create an environment where everyone is engaged and comfortable.
Let’s Dialogue! How to make dialogues more exciting for you and your students!
Trainers: Amy White and Cindy Brown
November 10, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Hogar Hispano Office, Falls Church
Are you tired of using the same format to introduce a new dialogue? Your students might be too! Come to this two hour training that will give you new ideas about how to teach those pesky dialogues and interesting ways to keep students engaged. You will also have a chance to brainstorm with fellow teachers and find out what works for them. Bring your questions and issues that have come up in class and let’s get ready to dialogue!
Games! Games! Games!
Trainer: Phil Spencer in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Literacy Council
To Be Announced
There is no better way to encourage your students to loosen up and have fun than by playing games in the classroom. Not only are these games enjoyable for you and your students, but they are very useful in reinforcing lessons. Come to learn, get great ideas, meet other volunteers around the community, eat candy and PLAY!

Tip of the Month

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.

Volunteer Spotlight

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.

September's Vignette

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.

I told myself I would never be questioned by the authorities because ... I am a documented citizen
On July 19 around 8:40 pm, I was inside a 7-Eleven in Woodbridge in line to get drinks while my husband John*, my two children and my grandmother were waiting in the car outside. The people in the store were predominantly white. While I was in line, two uniformed policemen asked me to step aside. I was surprised and embarrassed. Separating me from the crowd, they asked if I had any identification and I gave them my Maryland ID. They looked at it and asked for a second form of identification. I gave them my social security card. They checked it and asked, “Are you legal here?” I responded, yes, I would not be able to get these forms of identification if I were not legal here.

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.

  • If you or someone you know is the victim of racial profiling or are involved in a situation similar to the one described above, there is something you can do right away.
    1. Remember the officer's badge number, name, or other identifying information. You have a right to ask the officer for this information. Write down everything as soon as you can.
    2. Try to find witnesses and write down their names and phone numbers.
    3. Call a lawyer.
  • “Racial profiling” is when police, FBI, or other law enforcement stop, question, search or investigate you because of your race, ethnicity, or religion. If you believe you have been the victim of racial profiling, you can also call the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) on their free hotline at 1-877-6-PROFILE to get a complaint form.
*This story was shared with Hogar Hispano under the condition of anonymity. In adherence with this request, names have been changed.

Bits and Pieces
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,
dgibson@ccda.net 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.