One of the greatest needs of our refugee and immigrant neighbors is learning English.


…these two women can relate over the challenges of new culture and language.

Upon arrival, all adults are enrolled in ESL classes, but oftentimes are unable to continue attending due to employment, lack of childcare, or other barriers.


It’s a blessing to these families when volunteers are able to practice English with them (or especially when volunteers learn a few phrases from their native language!)


As a way to better support both the volunteer and English learner, our staff developed a simple language assessment to gauge the student’s level. The assessment includes written and verbal portions and asks students their learning goals.


Earlier this month we did this language assessment with one of our new Karen arrivals. This young woman studied English in the refugee camp and is growing bolder with her speaking ability now that she is here. We were delighted to tell her she scored 100%! We will be able to recommend moderate-advanced English curriculum for her as she continues to improve her speaking and comprehension.


We introduced this young woman to Jessica, the New Neighbor welcoming her, who is herself a native Portuguese speaker studying here from Brazil. We are thankful that these two women can relate over the challenges of new culture and language and are excited to see how their friendship grows!


Wendy Meyering is the Church Mobilization Ministries Director

Language learning goals from our refugee neighbors:

  • “I want to learn how to write my children’s names”


  • “I want to know how to write and say my address”


  • “I want to know how to read and write the alphabet”


  • “I want to be able to talk to my English-speaking friends when I host them”


  • “I want to talk to my neighbors, the doctor, and my children’s teachers”


  • “I want to be able to answer the phone and talk in English”


  • “I want to learn English so that I can lead my daily life”