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English Language Learners Enjoy Immersive Opportunities Across Regions


Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 9:00 AM

Learning a new language can be a challenge, but with the support of VAL’s compassionate English Language Learning (ELL) instructors, it becomes a journey filled with exciting discoveries! Students in our ELL programs have enjoyed several opportunities over the past year to dive into immersive experiences that bring the English language to life.

Last summer, Maureen Cavanagh and Julia DiPietro from our Chittenden County Learning Center teamed up to teach a special English class focused on exploring Burlington’s vibrant community. Visiting landmarks including the Fletcher Free Library, Church Street, ECHO Science Center, Flynn Theater, and City Hall, students had the chance to practice English in real-life situations while soaking in the local culture. Students practiced ordering from a cafe, learned how to get a library card, and took pictures in City Hall Park.

Reflecting on their adventures, the class shared their thoughts in a collaborative piece for VAL’s Learning Matters Blog. “It was a good experience to visit these places this summer. We were able to talk more with other students,” they wrote. “We are not from the same countries, but we were able to make new friends.”

In December, Joy Gaine from our Windsor County Learning Centers led students on an enriching trip to the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH. Mahin, an Iranian student living in Windsor County, was particularly impressed by the beautiful paintings and handicrafts on display. “It was very interesting,” she said. “Very beautiful and the art exhibition was wonderful and worth seeing.”

Meanwhile, in Windham County, Jeryl Julian Cissé and Robin Bitters helped coordinate a visit to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. Their students explored different departments, listened to inspiring words from the CEO about community partnerships for better health, and even received assistance from the HR department in applying for job opportunities. Shortly after, two students made their way through the hiring process and are now employed!

From cultural excursions to professional networking, our ELL programs are not just about language learning but also about embracing new experiences and forging connections within the community.


Support our immersive work with English Language Learners by making a gift to VAL today!

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