EC Boston to Host Free Citizenship Classes!

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EC Boston is embarking on an exciting new initiative! On the evening of March 12, we are launching a new course – a U.S. Citizenship Class.  This course caters specifically to Boston immigrants who are slated to become American citizens but struggle with the English language; it will help them prepare for the Naturalization test, one of many tasks they must complete before being sworn in as American citizens. We are very excited for this opportunity to give back to the community in which we live and work.

In preparation for the first day of classes, we interviewed teachers Ken and Yen:

Q: “Why are you interested in teaching this class?”

Ken: “I’m passionate about giving back to the community and being a part of EC and what we do here. These citizenship classes are important to the people of Boston as oftentimes immigrants, many who have already gone through great difficulties in their home countries, do not have enough knowledge of the English language to confidently apply for and/or successfully go through the naturalization process.”

Yen: “I was born in Taiwan but came to the US when I was four years old. I have fought for American citizenship all my life before finally becoming a citizen in 2004 so this is an issue very close to my heart.”

Q: “What will you contribute to the course? What will the course teach you?”

Ken: “My strength is my passion: I helped two women from Sudan, through a class I taught in 2012 and felt so incredibly proud when they passed the test. Many naturalized Sudanese men who came here years ago are now established citizens of the United States and able to return to Sudan to fetch their wives and girlfriends once left behind, as was the case with the two women I helped. These new legal immigrant women have no English language skills whatsoever, and I’m proud and passionate about helping them become integrated members of their new community. In regards to what I will learn, I’m excited about learning about immigrant struggles and having to apply different teaching methods to better cater to a more diverse group of language learners in one classroom than I do in our regular classes. “

Yen: “I am intimately familiar with the process, from beginning to end and can relate very well with the students’ struggles, milestones and tribulations on the road of becoming an American. I too look forward to teaching ESL in a different setting, using different skills and methods.”

Q: “Why is it so great to be an American?”

Ken: “To have the freedom to travel and experience other cultures. I grew up in a homogenous little town in upstate New York, and didn’t begin to travel until I was in my early 20s. That is when I looked inward and realized how lucky we are.”

Yen: “To have access to a global vision. As a child, I didn’t want to be an American as the image I had acquired abroad about the typical American was far from positive. Then, when I became a citizen I felt I finally had a voice in the global community and began thinking of global, social injustice.”

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