New training for tutors of refugees

refugee1The United States, a world leader in refugee resettlement, welcomes tens of thousands of refugees into its borders each year. Of these, thousands make Arizona home. Many refugees have lived through the traumas of war, extended time in refugee camps and family separation, and all face the enormous challenge of quickly learning a new language so they can work and survive in a new culture. For those who come from pre-literate cultures that have no written language, or who have never been to school, this challenge is exponentially greater.

Volunteers from churches, resettlement organizations and nonprofits throughout Tucson provide tutoring in formal English classes as well as individual and small-group instruction.  While the rewards of tutoring are great, the unique needs of low-literacy refugees can be a challenge, even for those with teaching backgrounds. Consequently, many volunteers have approached Literacy Connects over the past three years requesting specialized training and support.

With support from the Zuckerman Foundation, the Literacy Connects English Language Acquisition for Adults program is responding to the community’s request by offering a training on April 10 and 17 for volunteers who tutor or teach English to low-literacy refugee adults. Open to the public, the training will offer teaching strategies for developing receptive and oral language skills, as well as emerging reading and writing skills. Participants will also receive resources and access to ongoing tutor support services.

The training will be held 9 a.m.-noon April 10 and 17 at Literacy Connects, 200 E. Yavapai Road. Fee for the training, which includes training materials and access to monthly tutor support meetings, is $50 ($30 for students and AmeriCorps volunteers.)

Click here to register online by Friday, April 3.

(Literacy Connects volunteers who work with refugees should contact ELAA programs staff directly to register.)

The training draws on the materials and expertise of Tacoma Community House, a national leader in refugee language instruction and learning.  Multiple local partners have also provided input and feedback on the training.  Special thanks to teachers and administrators at Pima Community College Adult Education’s Refugee Education Project.

The training will be facilitated by Jennifer Stanowski, Director of Literacy Connects’ ELAA program, and Karen Kivel, Volunteer Trainer and Manager.

Questions? Call Jennifer or Karen at (520) 882-8006.





Comments are closed.