What is MLC?
Minnesota Literacy Council, it’s a place where ESL students and refugees can receive extra help with English and adjusting to life in the U.S. The MLC is also a place where English learning students can apply for a Citizenship Education Grant. The MLC is a great place for newcomers of America to get the proper help for the start of their lives in MN. They also help adults who learned English as a first language, but maybe didn’t learn to read or write very well.
What did we do?
We listened to recordings with the MLC students speaking in English and took a survey and on that survey was three ratings as to how well they spoke English. Those three ratings were on how much of what the students said could we understand, how clearly were they speaking, and if we were able to get past their accent and understand what they were saying.The speech samples were from before and after they worked on pronunciation in their class. Andrea mixed up the samples so we didn’t know which ones were before or after.
Why is it important?
It helps a teacher learn about new methods of teaching to better aid her students.
This is important because we need to learn new methods on teaching newcomers to the united states. It is important because it helps us to begin to understand the side of the learner, to understand the frustration and confusion that they must have felt is a mind opening experience.
Reflections from students:
Taylor: “When we started this class today I didn’t think that we would be having so much fun, I am so glad that I was wrong. We played, laughed, helped, and we learned to look at the world in a new way, and from a new perspective”.
Emilee: ”We started our volunteer work with going over what we actually knew about Martin Luther King Jr. During this discussion we also looked at different things that Martin Luther said and how we perceived it.
Rosalyn: We started our service day looking back at some other quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. We talked about what we thought the quotes meant and why he might have said them. One of the MLC teachers came,her name was Andrea. She had us listen to some of her students recordings. After we listened to each recording we had to rate how well we thought the person did. There were three columns we had to rate. Andrea brought snacks for us to enjoy while we listened and for afterwards. We finished by giving her some insightful feedback on how she could improve her teaching.
Danielle: “We started by playing a weird game where we had to chose animals and their noises. It was really weird. We also did an activity to learn what it’s like to be an immigrant just learning English with a teacher who doesn’t know their native language. It was really difficult to understand what was going on, and it really helped us realize what we all take for granted. I have a new appreciation for how hard these people work. I don’t think I could do it. We analyzed their speech samples from before their class, and after their class. The differences were incredible. After just a few months they were speaking ten times better than when they started. I was really glad to be able to help the teacher refine her methods. I feel as though the better she teaches, the better they will do in their future and the more they can contribute to the world.”
Erica: Today when we started this class, I didn’t like it so much but as soon as we started playing the animal sound game, it made me laugh. When we played this animal game I was a wolf and my friend Nicole was an owl. I had so much fun playing that game. Cate then started speaking some language and told us to repeat after her but we all thought she was a little bit crazy and we all felt kind of pressured. Then Andrea came and we listened to speakers that came from different countries and some were really good but others you couldn’t even slightly understand them.
Nicole: I really liked hearing the students talk and try to speak our language. I could understand a lot because I talk with my korean/japanese friends over a voice thing on this app and I learned to understand them with their heavy accent. It was interesting how much they improved from the first interview until they learned and got use to the language a little more.