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Bulldog Spotlight: ESL volunteers

Courtesy of Jessica Mauritzen

Student volunteer Colleen Cody shares a teachable moment with her adult ESL student.

Danielle Sanchez, PR Editor

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Spanish teacher Jessica Mauritzen has been hosting ESL classes for adults wanting to learn English. The eight week course takes place from 6 to 8 pm every Monday and Wednesday. Student helpers from RB make the class even more helpful to the students.

There are seven adults enrolled in the class and each has a one-on-one tutor.  They are taught pronunciation, reading and writing. Volunteers have to use their Spanish abilities to communicate with the students.

“Each student has a tutor. Sometimes there are two or three of us helping one. We use packets and pictures to help them. At times, we stray away from the packets if the student wants to learn a specific thing.  We try to cater to their different levels and what they need,” volunteer Colleen Cody said.

Other volunteers include Nina Pellizari, Tatiana Reaves, and Carly Suprenant.

“They are extremely committed and dedicated. It’s nice to see them using Spanish outside of class. They also get to hear about another culture and understand how it is on the other side to learning English,” Mauritzen said.

Volunteering has made an impact on students as well.

Suprenant said, “I love helping people in any way I can. I’ve learned that learning a new language is difficult and it also makes you think about why you say things the way you do. We also become friends and have personal time with them.”

Sometimes the lessons extend beyond the classroom.

“I’ve learned how to be patient. I teach a lady who is 67 years old. It’s more challenging than teaching a child. But she’s told me all about her life and the hardships she’s had,” Pellizari said.

Mauritzen attributes the positive impact of the program to the kids.

“The class would not have been as successful as it is without the RB students help. There are so many different levels I never would have been able to reach all of the adult levels without assistance,” Mauritzen said.

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
Bulldog Spotlight: ESL volunteers