“Alexandria is Changing”

October 18, 2017 at 8:39 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Part of LCNV’s curriculum focuses on helping learners increase their engagement with the local community. In Northern Virginia, English language provides the key to understanding local history and the changing landscape. LCNV learner Shahnaz shows just how powerful English can be in understanding the reasons behind development and a shifting community with her 2013 essay, “Alexandria is Changing”. An Alexandria, VA resident, Shahnaz writes about the changes she has seen over a twelve year period near her home, and the pros and cons of these changes. Living in a growing region can present new challenges and opportunities, and the ability of LCNV’s learners to voice their thoughts in English makes for stronger communities.

“Alexandria is a very old city in Virginia. It was established in 1749. There are a lot of historical places in Alexandria, such as the George Washington Memorial. I have lived in Alexandria for about twelve years, and I have seen a lot of changes in the city.

Old Town is a very beautiful part of Alexandria. There is a dock because the city is by the Potomac River. There are many restaurants, shops, and an art center called the Torpedo Factory. The area is more popular now than when I first moved here. Parking in Old Town is very expensive now and harder to find than before. There are also more people and it is busier.

My neighborhood has changed, too. They have built more houses and added more traffic lights because there are more cars, buses, and trucks. In the twelve years since I have been here, I have seen many changes. I like the development in Alexandria, but I don’t like the traffic. Even with the traffic, I am happier here than in my country.”

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“Learning English Makes Me Feel Good”

October 11, 2017 at 8:00 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Between July 2016 and the end of June 2017, 84% of LCNV’s learners achieved two or more of the goals they set for themselves at the start of class. These goals could be personal/intangible, or could include increasing community involvement or advancing in employment, just to name a few. The hard work that these learners do to reach these goals can’t be overstated, and the satisfaction they feel when discussing these achievements is immeasurable. In the words of LCNV learner Reena, “Learning English makes me feel good.” Read her 2017 essay below:

“Learning English makes me feel intelligent. Speaking English is important in every country. Speaking English makes me friendly. Learning English solves my problems everywhere. Learning English makes me feel good.”

Community and Confidence

October 4, 2017 at 8:02 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What does “community” mean? For many, it’s a sense of belonging and comfort; a safe place or group in which one is able to both contribute and receive support. The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is a community of learners. New English speakers learn to communicate and express their thoughts. Volunteers and teachers learn new ways of teaching and involving beginning-level adult language learners. Everyone benefits from their connections with and among each other – inspiring new cultural understandings and new friendships. For LCNV learner Liliana, community means having the confidence to participate in class, in church, in the market, and in the workplace. Read her 2017 essay, “Learning Gives Me Power”, below.

“Speaking English gives me the power to communicate and interact with other people such as neighbors and new friends. I can go shopping, to the grocery store, bank, restaurants, pharmacy and church. I can get a job or get a better job. I can participate in the community. I feel better and part of society.

It is good learning English because it is the language of the USA, my new home.

Thanks to my teachers, Valerie and Jody, for teaching me with love every day.”

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