E2CCB Class Helps Parents Learn English
“Mrs. Sampson is a great teacher,” said Love Elementary School grandparent, Dalcia Pina, who spoke very little English when she came to Jamestown but is now a Foster Grandparent helping in Patrick Cunningham’s classroom with her grandchild thanks to an English as a Second Language class through Erie2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES. “She takes the time to explain everything and always told me that I can learn English. Before I took this class, I was a little afraid to speak because I was not sure I was saying the right thing but it has helped me feel comfortable having conversations with people. Having this class at Love is easier for families and helps get families involved.”
Pina works with E2CCB Adult Literacy Instructor, Carolyn Sampson, who teaches English as a Second Language to Love parents and families free of charge, twice a week, right in the school. Parents and family members who speak Spanish, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese have participated over the years.
“The partnership started with a few parents in our PACT (Parents and Children Together) program that wanted to learn how to speak English so they could get a job,” said Cunningham. “The classes help parents help their children be successful in school. Parents are better able to communicate with the school and have a better understanding of what their children are learning. We believe in working with, and helping, our families. Having this class gives us more opportunities to build positive relationships with our families. We all need to work together to see our children succeed.”
Sampson teaches English as a Second Language to a wide range of skill levels. Some parents come in knowing very little English whereas others some have a higher skill level. She starts with very basic conversational language such as: greetings, weather and seasons, food, family and holidays. Once students know the basics, they progress into grammar and sentence structure.
“I adjust my instruction to each individual student’s needs,” said Sampson. “I learn so much from the students about their country’s culture and I love seeing the students help and support each other. It has been such a great experience for me and I love teaching English.”
Once students reach a specific level of understanding English, they can continue in Adult Basic Education where they can further improve their English skills.
In addition to Love School’s program, E2CCB offers English as a Second Language classes at no cost at the Family Learning Zone at Gateway Center, 31 Water Street in Jamestown Monday through Friday, for beginners, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Monday through Thursday, for beginner to intermediate, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For enrollment information, please contact: Beth Pearson at 484-6190.