Many new immigrants to the United States start their English classes with a nervousness they’ve never felt before. This is due to the fact that they have never left their native country before. Another reason for their nervousness is because they do not understand the communication patterns of English speakers. In addition, they do not know where to go or who to call for assistance with their language problems. A program established by the East Central Community in Des Moines, Iowa, helped many new immigrants feel more confident and comfortable in their new home by tutoring them in English.
The EC Mentoring Program started out as a way for the EC to show his appreciation and help to those who had recently moved to his neighborhood. Initially, the EC offered free English classes and tutoring to his new arrivals. This was done so that he could understand and speak English himself. He also wanted to read English texts so that he could understand what he was reading. After learning the language himself, he wanted to tutor others so that they could learn English at his pace and with his help. As more and more people moved into his neighborhood, he continued tutoring new arrivals in English. This program grew from a small idea into a successful program that continues today.
The mentoring program has helped many first generation English speakers feel more confident in their ability to speak English. Newcomers often experience social anxiety when trying to speak English with others. They also have trouble understanding written English, which can make it hard for them to find a job or complete daily tasks. Through this mentoring program, students meet weekly with an EC mentor who listens to their problems and helps them resolve their issues with English language fluency. The mentors also help the students find part-time jobs so they can earn extra money and reduce their expenses. This has been a great way for the EC community to help one another while also bettering themselves through education.
The mentors of this program also found it beneficial for students to join other community groups such as Chinese pastors or Greek club memberships. This helped them make friends who would be willing to listen to their problems and offer solutions. In addition, it helped them find additional part-time jobs so they could pay for their English classes and programs. It has been great for the EC community when new members of the local population decide to get involved and help new immigrants with English classes.
Although not perfect, this program has been very successful in helping immigrant populations feel more confident in their ability to speak English. It has also helped students find part-time jobs and make friends within the EC area who are willing to help them with daily tasks like filling out application forms for jobs. Although it is not perfect, this program shows how much the EC community cares about new immigrants and wants to help them succeed in life.