Hogar Hispano E-Nunciations
A 'Zine for ESL Teachers and Volunteers
December 2003
In this issue...
1.    Newsflash: Survey Says... The Results from the Mini-Survey
2.    Did you know New DMV Regulations Beginning January 1, 2004
3.    Upcoming ESL Teacher Trainings
4.    Tip O' the Month: Teaching Multi-Level Classes
5.    Hogar Hispano Spring 2004 ESL Class Schedule
6.    Tell Your Students - If You Leave, You Lose: Immigration Penalties You Should Know
7 .    Volunteer Opportunities

Newsflash!  The Mini-Survey Says...
Dear Volunteers,
Thank you again for your dedication this semester!  For those of you who just began this fall, we hope it has been a fun and rewarding experience.  For those who are continuing, thank you for your dedication and perseverance! We look forward to another great semester in the spring. 
Thank you to all those volunteers who responded to our mini-survey over e-mail.  We were very encouraged by your tremendous response.  A majority of the teachers who responded noted steady progress among their students, particularly those students who attended and participated regularly (makes sense, doesn't it!?)  Teachers who responded said that students felt more confident using their new vocabulary by the end of the semester.  
We received many, many helpful comments, including: 
  • Students need more practice speaking, asking questions, especially in "survival" skills situations.
  • Students need review, review, review -- constantly.
  • Volunteers were unsure of how to teach grammar. 
  • Hogar should provide a box of sample lesson plans, visual materials, games and hand-outs at each class location.
  • Literacy (for those learning to read/write) classes should be offered at more locations.
  • Student retention rate seems to be good.  Remember, if you still have 30-50% of your class at the end of the semester, you're doing great!
Thank you for your suggestions!  Sally and I will do our best to meet those needs in the coming months.  In the meantime, keep it coming!
And Happy Holidays from the Hogar!

Sally O'Dwyer  

ESL Coordinator, Hogar Hispano


Did you know?  New DMV Regulations Beginning January 1, 2004
Since September 11, 2001, changes in the law regarding licensing and identification have seriously affected many of our ESL students.  The most recent changes will require students to show proof of legal presence.  What does this mean? 
The Legal Presence Law, which will begin in the new year, means that you must show proof that you:
  • Are a U.S.-born citizen
  • Are a naturalized citizen
  • Are a legal resident in the U.S.
  • Have a valid foreign passport with a valid visa
After January 1, 2004, you have to show legal presence if:
  • You are applying for a Virginia ID card
  • You are applying for a Virginia Driver's License for the first time
  • *You are reinstating your driving privilege because your license expired or was suspended, revoked, or cancelled
*If you hold a valid driver's license, you will not be required to show proof of legal presence when you renew your license.  However, if you allow your license to expire, you will be required to show proof of legal presence to obtain a new license.
Please tell your students as soon as possible to do one of the following BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2004:

1) Renew your licenses on time! If you renew your license before it expires, you WILL NOT have to prove legal presence--so tell students NOT to let licenses expire. 

2) Request an "Elevated Review Processif you are presenting a foreign birth certificate or other document as your documentation. People MUST obtain a translation from their embassy or consulate in the U.S. (so DMV can verify the translation).  With this translation (and the original), you must go to DMV and ask to speak with a Manager or Assistant Manager, and say you are there to go through the "elevated review process" (formerly called "exception process").  The Manager will not be able to process the documents themselves, but the Manager should send a fax to Sharon Brown at 804-367-0374 (fax) who will have the documents reviewed. Have your student take this name and fax number with them to DMV.  This process will continue in the new year for foreign documents with translations. [Note:  These foreign documents will NOT appear on the list of acceptable documents because it's a different kind of review process.]

Thank you to Jennifer Fadden of REEP (The Arlington Education and Employment Program) for this helpful information!

ESL Teacher Training and Education Opportunities
ESL Swap Meet - Saturday, January 24, from 9:00 am - 12 noon
Veteran volunteers share their best-kept ESL secrets with you!  Click here for directions to Hogar's Office in Falls Church.  Free!  RSVP to Sally at sodwyer@ccda.net.
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Instructor Training Course
This highly interactive course is well worth the $249 fee.  Experienced instructors will teach practical activities and strategies for teaching adult ESOL.  Topics include lesson planning and pacing, cross-cultural training, assessments, adult learning theory, multi-level lessons, pronunciation, and using a text effectively.  To register, contact Carol Doyle at 703-714-5560.  Space is limited.  Location: Pimmit Hills Adult Center, 5710 Lisle Ave., Falls Church. Sponsored by Fairfax County Public Schools. 
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:30 - 9:30 pm, February 9 - April 19
Online Courses
The Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center, based in Richmond, offers eight-week courses online, beginning January 19, 2004.  Interact with fellow adult educators and learn at your own pace.  Space is limited!  For more information or to register: http://www.aelweb.vcu.edu/   Coursed include:
    *  ESOL Basics
    * Adults as Learners: An Orientation (formerly The Adult Learner)
    * Using Technology to Enhance Instruction

Tip O' the Month:  How to Teach Multi-Level Classes
To be perfectly honest, all of our ESL classes are multilevel, which presents a real challenge to Instructors.  While some of your students are well educated in their native language, others are not.   Some of your students have lived in the US for a long time and have picked up language skills "in the street" and some students have been here only a week.  Some of your students will be senior citizens, full of wisdom, and some of your students will be 18 years old.
Because language acquisition involves a number of skills, people learn at different rates.  Some people seem to have a knack for languages and pick it up faster than others. Learners who have contact with English speakers during the week will learn the language faster than those who do not. Students who are able to attend classes regularly will move ahead of those who do not.  Students who are not afraid to speak out and make mistakes will also learn faster than those who are shy. 

Many of our students do not hold a high school degree from their native country.  They may have dropped-out at a young age in order to help their families.   There is a direct correlation between the level of native language education and the ability to acquire a second language-those who have more education in their native language are likely to learn English faster than those who do not.  Of course, everyone CAN learn English, it just might take some longer than others.  Those with higher levels of education simply have a more solid frame of reference from which to begin learning English.  We have many learners who are barely literate in Spanish, which means that they will probably require more time and effort than others to learn English.  Those students that did learn English in class in their homeland are most likely to be able to read and write a bit, but have limited-speaking ability.  

Another reason why we have so many multilevel classes is that we try to keep our classes open to new students for as long as possible.  This means that students may enter the program if there is space in the classroom and if the teacher is willing to accept additional students.  Students that were in the class from the beginning will have the advantage and be more advanced than the newcomers.


  • Mini-independent units. Center each class around a particular topic, so that something new is introduced to the entire class.  This way you can be sure that students who have been in the class will continue to learn.  At the same time, each class should contain some review material to serve as reinforcement for continuing students and as foundation for new students.  Students cannot be expected to learn information that is presented only once.  Information will need to be reintroduced frequently.
  • Groups.  Students who are more advanced can be grouped together and given reading and writing assignments based upon your presentation that day.  Less advanced students can be grouped together in small units of three or four and asked to perform simpler tasks such as practicing a dialog, filling in the blanks, answering true/false questions, quizzing each other using visuals, simply reading aloud to one another, etc. 
  • Peer Tutoring.  Match-up more advanced students in pairs with less advanced students and have the more advanced classmates teach/coach the less advanced students on the topic they have just learned.  Teaching something to someone else is one of the best ways to really internalize something and learn it.  It's a win/win for both students.  Do not, however, constantly rely on this method-it can be wearing on the better students if overused.  You can also pair your class veterans with newcomers, to help the newcomer adjust more quickly to your class.
  • Don't start over.  Do not start at the beginning again with the addition of each new student.  You will lose your "old" students this way.  A certain amount of review is required for students to retain information, but if you are constantly starting from zero, your students will become extremely bored and frustrated with you. 
  • Team Teaching. If you are fortunate enough to be co-teaching or have an aide working in the classroom with you, you can work more effectively in a multilevel class.  While one teacher is instructing the class, the second volunteer should walk around the room to see that everyone understands the lesson.  If a student is having difficulties or seems lost, the second teacher or aide could quietly work with the student to get them up to speed.  Another option is to have the second instructor and the student take two chairs out into the hallway and practice for a short period.  This one-to one teaching also allows the teacher to evaluate the student's progress and get to know personal needs. You can also split the class up. The less advanced students can work with one volunteer at a slower pace and the more advanced students can move ahead a bit-focusing on reading and writing skills with the other volunteer.
  • Extra activities. Have activities ready for students who finish exercises faster than the rest of the class.  Keep some flashcards or games handy to keep students busy at all times! 

Hogar Hispano Spring 2004 ESL Class Schedule
Please go to Hogar's webpage  to find out registration dates, class times and locations throughout Northern Virginia.  Registration is open throughout the semester, but we suggest registering on the registration date listed, as space is limited at some locations.  Classes are available at a variety of times, from literacy level though advanced English.
ESL volunteers: please try to be available to assist your site coordinator at the registration date listed on the schedule.

Tell Your Students - If You Leave, You Lose: Immigration Penalties You Should Know
Entering the United States illegally now carries serious penalties.  It could prevent your getting a green card in the future.  It could also land you in jail.  If you are in the United States without permission, please read this summary of the possible penalties.  Think carefully before you leave. 

Unlawful Presence


If you entered the United States illegally, you began acquiring "unlawful presence" on the day you arrived.  If you entered the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, passport, or border crossing card, you were allowed to stay here for a specific period of time.  This is indicated on the I-94 card issued to you by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  You begin acquiring unlawful presence on the day after your time expires.


*   Three-Year Bar


There is a penalty if you acquire more than 180 days of unlawful presence and then leave the United States.  By leaving the United States, you will not be able to return legally for three years.


*   Ten-Year Bar


There is a harsher penalty if you acquire more than one year of unlawful presence and then leave the United States.  By leaving the United States, you will not be able to return legally for ten years.


*   Waiver of the Three- and Ten-Year Bars


There is a waiver of the three- and ten-year bars.  However, not everyone qualifies for it.  You must show that your U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if you were not granted the waiver.  The USCIS and most consulates are granting only a few of these waivers.  In addition, it takes several months to get a decision on the waiver application.


*   What to do?


If you are eligible to immigrate through the U.S. consulate because a family member has petitioned for you, you should not stay illegally in the United States for more than 180 days.  On the other hand, if you are eligible to become a permanent resident here in the United States, you should not leave the country before you get a green card.  Talk to an immigration specialist to find out the best thing for you to do.


*   Permanent Bar


If you have acquired one year of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997, leave the United States, and then attempt to enter the country illegally, you are subject to the permanent bar.  The same is true if you are successful in reentering the Unites States illegally.  The permanent bar means that you will never be able to reenter the United States legally.  There is a waiver available, but only after you have stayed outside the United States for ten years. Therefore, if you have been living illegally in the United States for more than one year, you should not leave and attempt to return illegally.




If you have been ordered deported by an immigration judge, you may also be barred from reentering the United States legally.  If you left the United States after being ordered deported, you may not reenter legally for ten years (five years in some cases).  You can apply for a waiver of this bar at any time. The waiver is based on the positive factors in your case.  But if you attempted to reenter the United States illegally after April 1, 1997 after being deported, you are subject to the permanent bar.   The same is true if you are successful in reentering the Unites States illegally.  The permanent bar means that you will never be able to reenter the United States legally.  There is a waiver available, but only after you have stayed outside the United States for ten years.


If you were ordered deported by an immigration judge but never left the United States, you will not incur the ten-year bar until you leave the country.  If you are eligible to become a permanent resident alien in the United States, you will need to re-open your deportation case.


Criminal Penalties


In addition to the civil penalties for entering the United States illegally, you may end up in jail.  Here are some of the more common criminal penalties and the maximum sentences:


*   Entering Illegally


Entering or attempting to enter the country illegally can subject you to a maximum of six months in jail for the first offense.  For subsequent illegal entries the sentence increases to two years.  Reentry after being ordered deported is a felony and carries a sentence of up to two years in jail.


*   Smuggling


Bringing someone into the United States illegally can subject you to a maximum sentence of ten years. Encouraging someone to enter the United States can subject you to a maximum sentence of five years.  If the person is inadmissible on criminal or security grounds, the maximum sentence is ten years. Harboring or transporting an undocumented alien within the United States can subject you to a maximum sentence of five years.


*   False Documents


Making false statements on an application for immigration benefits, or submitting supporting documents that are you know are false, can subject you from 10 to 25 years in jail.


*   False Claim to U.S. Citizenship


Making a false claim to U.S. citizenship is a permanent bar if made on or after September 30, 1996.  It can also subject you to five years in jail.


Be sure to talk to an experienced immigration counselor about the facts in your case before you leave the United States, file an application, or make contact with the Immigration Service.


This information is also availabe in Spanish.  To get a copy, email Ginny at gcallahan@ccda.net 

 *This information is courtesy of CLINIC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

Volunteer Opportunities
Computer teachers needed to teach basic computer skills to immigrants who are learning English as a Second Language (weekdays).  Contact Ginny at gcallahan@ccda.net.
Adult ESL Teachers.
Training provided, no experience or second language required.  Our spring semester starts in January.  Commitment of 3 hours/week (evenings, weekdays, and weekend times available).  Class locations throughout Northern Virginia.  Please fill out the online application by clicking here.  Contact Ginny at gcallahan@ccda.net.
Help Others to Become U.S. Citizens
Volunteers needed to help fill out U.S. Naturalization applications at this Citizenship Workshop.  Training provided.  January 17, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.  Held at Arlington Mill Community Center, 4975 Columbia Pike, Arlington.  Contact Esmael Husseini at 703-534-9805, ext. 237 or ehusseini@ccda.net.  Workshops held every 6-8 weeks, so if you can't make it to this one, look out for the next one.

Hogar Hispano is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to immigrants of all nationalities and religions.  As part of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, Hogar Hispano helps newcomers achieve self-sufficiency and successfully integrate into American society by offering a wide range of services at little or no cost.  Hogar Hispano offers English as a Second Language classes, legal counseling and representation, naturalization assistance, and social services. 
Let us know your thoughts!
Sally O'Dwyer, ESL Coordinator
Ginny Callahan, Assoc. ESL Coordinator
Leslie Buckley, AGAPE Job Hotline Developer and ESL Trainer
Hogar Hispano
6201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 307
Falls Church, Va. 22044
Ph. 703-534-9805, ext. 222
Fax 703-534-9809

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