I am on the board of Sound Learning, a non-profit agency operating in Mason and Thurston counties. We have programs supporting English for Speakers of Other Languages and Adult Basic Education. We currently have more than 140 people attending our ESOL classes each year.
The most common reasons are for attending are: 1) to get a job or “better” job, 2) to speak to a child’s teacher, 3) to speak to a doctor, or 4) to communicate with people in the community. When our funding permits, we have offered ESOL classes that include entire families.
By far, our programs are limited more by our budget than by a lack of motivated students. Our students have shown strong commitments to attending our scheduled classes and using what they learn outside of our classrooms.
We typically see significant improvement in measured English abilities within a few months and students often gain self-confidence and increase their community involvement.
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If you want more immigrants speaking English, help us expand our English programs with more funds; additionally we always can use more volunteers.
By volunteering, you may see how hard Sound Learning and other non-profits have been working on this issue for years.