Celebrate Learners like Martha

May 23, 2018 at 8:12 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Save the date for June 21st, 2018! Join the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia for our 56th Annual Recognition Ceremony, an evening celebrating the incredible work of LCNV’s students, community partners, volunteers, and instructors. Students will read essays based around this year’s theme of “Learning English Improves My Life”. Special guest Aimee Cho, Reporter for NBC News4 Washington, will deliver keynote remarks. A dessert reception will follow the event. This ceremony will occur at the James Lee Community Center Theater from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

The Annual Recognition Ceremony is a chance to celebrate LCNV learners like Martha, whose essay discusses her reasons for learning English. Read Martha’s essay below:

“I can read books to my children. I also have been able to understand my children better and I can watch movies in English. For these reasons I like to learn English because I can talk with my children in English. When I go to the store I can understand better. I want to learn more English because it is very important for me to learn and understand the language.”

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“I’m Devoting Myself to Learning English”

May 16, 2018 at 8:05 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LCNV learner Mazonina can attest to the fact that it’s never too late to start learning English. Mazonina arrived in the United States 10 years ago with the dream of giving her daughters more opportunities. Now that Mazonina’s daughters have established themselves, she is able to devote time to her own education. As an LCNV student, Mazonina can ensure that she will have the language needed to take care of herself. LCNV’s classes are open to all beginning-level adults who need to learn the basics of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English.

If you or someone you know needs English classes, visit LCNV’s website or call 703-287-0866 for more information. Summer 2018 class sign-ups are happening now.

“My name is Mazonina. I’m Brazilian. I have two daughters. I have a girl and a boy who are my grandchildren. I’ve been in the United States for 10 years. I came to this country [so] my daughters [can] study and have an opportunity for a better future. I’m studying English. [It is] difficult [to] speak English.

I moved to this country with two underage daughters and with much hope. Only one daughter spoke a little English. I worked hard to give my daughters a better life. Today the two are married and speak English very well. One is trained in administration and the other is two years away from the university. Now I’m devoting myself to learning English and taking better care of myself.

Thank God that I have achieved my goal [for] my daughters.”

“Learning Changes My Life”

May 9, 2018 at 8:18 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LCNV’s classes are the beginning of an education continuum in Northern Virginia; a first step towards a path of self-sufficiency and independence in the United States. LCNV learner Rachida knows this well, as an English language learner with dreams of eventually becoming a dentist. In her essay, Rachida writes about the newfound abilities that she has gained with English, from writing emails to going to the doctor alone. It is also clear that Rachida has gained confidence in the possibility of finding a better job. Learning English is hard work, but with a commitment to lifelong learning, Rachida will eventually reach her goals.

Do you know someone who needs to learn English? LCNV’s summer class registration is now open. Visit lcnv.org/students/class-schedule for registration times and locations, or call 703-237-0866 for more information.

“It is important to take English classes because of many reasons. First of all, it helps me improve myself so I can make contact easily with people in this country without feeling shy. Second, I will have a lot of chances to get a lot of better jobs. For example, I would like to be a dentist, but I want to start as a dental assistant as a beginning. Third, I can live my life usefully without any problems. [I can] go to the doctor alone without any help, write emails and make appointments and make successful interviews. Finally, learning English is really changing my life to the best because of all these benefits.

In conclusion, we should always learn something in our lives for our improvement like learning English. So any person has to search, learn and not give up.”

“English Helps Me to Start a Brighter Life”

May 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “English Helps Me to Start a Brighter Life”

LCNV learner Henok knows that learning English changes lives. From getting a job to making a call, English is an essential part of communicating in the United States. For so many learners like Henok, finding English classes is what sets them on their way to success in the United States. Learning English truly does help to “start a brighter life in America.

Do you struggle with English? Do you have friends or family members who have difficulty with reading, writing, speaking, or understanding English? LCNV’s summer class schedule with sign-up events beginning May 7 is available now. Click here for dates and details.

“I am learning English to feel more free. Because I need to learn English for personal use. For example: answering cell phone, job interview, and attending school.

Generally, learning more English helps me to start a brighter life in America.”

“We All Speak English”

April 25, 2018 at 9:03 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “We All Speak English”

English strengthens communities, something that LCNV learner Mary knows well. Mary began learning English at work, by listening and asking questions. Eventually, she found LCNV’s classes, and was able to study English formally. Mary is receiving more than English education in LCNV’s classes, she is becoming a part of a larger community.

Mary’s story is inspiring, like the stories of so many other LCNV learners. Today, on Spring2ACTion, we hope that you will support learners like Mary to improve their lives with English education, and thank you for welcoming these adult learners into your community: http://bit.ly/2HnsPky

“I began to learn English at my work by listening and by asking questions. Before I cannot speak English; now I want to learn English. Now I am living in the U.S. I want to be a part of the English speaking community. I began to study English at the church. When I began to study English I met new people and made new friends. When I learn English I found many friends at the English class. We did crafts, we made baskets and jewelry. We made quilts together. Then we all speak English.”

“This is My First Step”

April 18, 2018 at 9:11 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “This is My First Step”

All immigrants to the United States find their own ways to acclimate to a new culture. For LCNV learner Shaheen, learning to speak English was his way to become a part of his adopted country. Like some of LCNV’s other learners, Shaheen studied English prior to coming to the U.S., but he could not speak it fluently. Through LCNV’s programs, Shaheen is able to increase his independence and begin to feel like a member of his new community.

You can support learners like Shaheen. Please consider making a donation today.

“My name is Shaheen. I am from India. I studied English in my country but I can’t speak fluently. I’ve been living in the USA for ten years. I didn’t face any difficulties with language because I work in an Indian store. At the workplace they speak in Urdu language. The rest of the [things] like shopping, doctor’s appointments, and paying bills my family members managed for me.

So I lived in the USA but I felt like I was still in India. I wanted to mentally come out of India. That is why I took the first step and I joined the English class. I want to do everything myself. I don’t want to depend on anyone. This is my first step in an English community.”

“My Family Could Not Understand Me”

April 11, 2018 at 9:10 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “My Family Could Not Understand Me”

Learning English is often seen as a critical step for individuals to communicate with the outside world, but what if your need for language kept you from communicating with your own family? LCNV learner Linh experienced this situation, which spurred her desire to learn English. When Linh emigrated from Vietnam, she found that her family in America used English in their daily communication. Luckily, Linh discovered LCNV’s classes, where she is able to practice her English in order to better communicate with her family. You can support the education of learners like Linh here.

“By learning English now I can speak my opinions and speak with family. Before, my family could not understand me. It makes me happy to [share with] my family my experiences living in Vietnam. Learning English helps me go shopping and order food and take the metro.”

“I Owe It All To My Teacher”

April 4, 2018 at 8:53 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

LCNV’s instructors give beginning-level English language learners the support they need to advance in their academic pursuits, ultimately enabling them to thrive in their communities. LCNV learner Fatima writes about how important her instructor is in her essay, “The USA.” Fatima is an immigrant who never attended school in her home country, and is finally receiving the education she desires with LCNV. Education has opened up a world of possibilities to Fatima. She is becoming literate, learning about US civics, and working to attain her citizenship. All the while, her class instructor serves as the backbone for her growth. “I owe it all to my teacher,” states Fatima.

You can help learners like Fatima seize new opportunities by volunteering with LCNV. Consider attending an upcoming volunteer orientation to learn more about how you can help.

“What I want Americans to know about my life in America is that for me, America is the land of opportunity. America is the land of freedom and a better life. I came to America in 2010. I never went to school in my country. America gave me the opportunity to go to school. Now I am studying English.

I am learning to speak, read, and write. Now I am working to earn my US citizenship. I am learning about the history and government of the United States. I think it is great to learn about the US. It is all new for me. I like to learn about the different states. I owe it all to my teacher.”

Yumi’s Story

March 28, 2018 at 2:37 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yumi’s Story

Throughout March, LCNV has been celebrating Women’s History Month by sharing the stories of some of the talented women learning English in LCNV’s programs. LCNV learner Yumi’s story also falls under this theme, but her focus on her daughter highlights another important role of adult literacy. Learning English will help Yumi support and advise her daughter, and in turn ensure that the next generation of women will continue making history. You can support LCNV learners like Yumi here.

“Learning English will make me feel more confident and successful because I can help my family. I want to be able to do shopping for my family by myself. Also, I can search and register programs for my daughter. Knowing English will help me to get a lot of information to choose good programs for my daughter. Since I started this English class, I made new friends who are also good teachers in my class. When I started this class, I could only understand a little English. However, I can understand English a lot more than before. When I speak English better, I will be able to give advice.”

“Successes of a Young Woman”

March 21, 2018 at 9:15 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “Successes of a Young Woman”
LCNV learner Widad became an architect as a young woman while living in Algeria. While there, she advanced rapidly in her career while working for an architecture firm. However, Widad’s life changed when she moved to the United States. Without an understanding of English, Widad was overwhelmed by her new country. She needed to relearn the basics of everyday life and get used to the new environment of the United States. LCNV’s classes, combined with Widad’s hard work, gave her the ability to reclaim her independence and continue her studies. If you would like to support the futures of women like Widad, click here.
 
“Ambition is spiritual energy in human life, is the force that drives us towards a bright future. The ambition for me is the title of a circle around three things: dream, hope, and challenge, [which is] either a failure or a success. This circle is repeated with every dream.
 
My name is the title of my story, which started from North Africa. I am thirty three years old. One year ago, I lived in my country of Algeria where I achieved the most important successes of a young woman. First, I was superior in my studies and became an Architect. I worked for a government architectural company for seven years. I was very successful in my work and very happy in my life. After that, I married, but my husband lives in the U.S.A., which means I’ll go live there. At that time I did not realize the difficulty of it. I was giving up all I had achieved in my country. I was leaving my family and my friends. After arriving in the U.S.A. I felt a great difference between the two environments. I did not have enough information about my new environment. I was frustrated because I was betting my future on the unknown, and I was saying it was too late to start again.
 
I could not do the simplest things. For example: driving, going out alone, and communicating with people. This made me feel distrust in myself and instability.
 
Later, I met people who lived the same experience, and I noticed their success in the U.S.A. I thought that if they could succeed, I could too. I began to ask myself, how to find my way to happiness. I decided to enter the circle of life again, to continue what I was doing in my country. I began to read and develop my knowledge about this country, and its culture and traditions. I met some friends from my new country. I found them very nice people, which reduced my sense of tension and anxiety.
 
Then I set myself a few simple goals to help me adapt to them. For example, learning the language, [get the] equivalent to my university degree, to continue my education, [get my] drivers’ license, and to work to practice and improve language.
 
Three months ago, I started studying ESOL [at LCNV] and to continue my education I enrolled in NoVa college. Now I feel better in my language. Finally, I hope to make a respectable place in this community. I realize that if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.”
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