Four years ago, Reine came to the United States from Beirut, with a great desire to learn English, both for her own benefit and to help her two “hyper boys” to become better speakers themselves. She was attending classes at a local career center program that was far away and inconvenient for her when someone told her about Project: LEARN, right near her home in Brunswick. With hard work and study with her tutor, Reine not only became an excellent English speaker, but passed the GED! She continues to study with a small group class at The BookShelf in Brunswick, helping other new arrivals to improve their English while polishing her own skills.
Keiko’s husband was transferred to the United States from Japan; while he had a work environment in which to make connections and improve English, she and her children were at home and struggling to adjust to the language and culture. After her referral to Project: LEARN, her tutor began working with her on basic English, as well as sharing American customs like Christmas trees and collegiate sports. Her tutor suggested she visit the Akron Christmas tree displays to see how we celebrate the holiday; Keiko excitedly texted her tutor “your nation has a tree!” She was referring, of course, to the Buckeye Nation, as her tutor had gotten her interested in Ohio State football and the Buckeye Nation of support across Ohio. Our tutors serve as wonderful ambassadors for our country, our county, and sometimes the “Buckeye Nation,” too.
According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, the number of Americans who speak other languages at home has been on the rise for the past three decades. Today, more than 20% of Americans, or over 60 million people, speak a language other than English in the home; over 13.5 million report that they do not speak English well or at all. http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acs-22.pdf
In Ohio, some 6.7% of the population, or over 720,000 people, speak a language other than English at home, and over 103,000 report that they do not speak English well or at all.
Project: LEARN of Medina County served many individuals with our ESL tutoring services in fiscal year 2014-2015. Individuals originally from 33 different countries or territories, speaking a multitude of languages, received tutoring services to assist them in acquiring basic English, navigating street signs and grocery stores, or improving English grammar and conversation. For more information on our ESL programming, click here.