What makes you feel an integral part of a community?
It is not only the ability to work, live, and support yourself through daily routines, but more importantly, it is being connected with the environment around you, and being able to easily access the lifestyle you want. These basic needs – which come so naturally that they often go unnoticed for many of us – can be a huge barrier for someone for whom English is not their first language.
Today, we would like to share Diana’s story with you.
As Diana first settled down in the United States, she felt “isolated” from the community and was not able to do anything without her fiancée. However, after she started to learn English and improve her language skills, she could once again access what she enjoys in life, such as being able to have food “in the way she likes it”, talk to people about topics that she’s interested in, as well as read and watch shows freely. We are delighted to see that as Diana improves her English and is able to access more resources, she is gradually more connected to the community she lives in, and have the feeling to finally call where she lives “home”:
“Hi, my name is Diana. I’m from Colombia. I arrived here one year ago. I live in Springfield, VA, with my fiancée. I’m going to get married soon. I’m so excited to be able to say my vows in English. My native tongue is Spanish. By learning English I can do many things that I couldn’t do in my community, school, work and my daily life.
Since taking English classes, I can buy groceries, toiletries, shoes, clothes, and different things in many places. If my fiancée can’t take me to work, I can take the bus or train and can ask how to get back home. Also, I like it when I go to restaurants and can get my favorite food the way I like it.
Sincerely, by knowing English, I feel more confident talking with different people about the weather, news and hobbies. I like that I now understand movies or series from Netflix, TV, and theaters. I love to read so I can expand my knowledge with new vocabulary each day.
In my job, I can be involved with the customers, friends, new people, and my boss, of course. My favorite part is that now I can hang out with friends and go out with them. It’s surprising what I can do when I can understand the language.
English has transformed my life. If I keep learning it, I know that I’m going to college to validate my career to be able to get a better life to help my family, friends and society.”
If you know someone who wants to improve their English skills to more fully participate in the community, become a learner with LCNV this fall. View our Fall Schedule here and attend one of our many registrations, beginning Monday, August 26, through Thursday, September 12.