- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Volunteer Erik Petersen is the ESL Conversation Club Facilitator at Biblioteca Latinoamericana. Every Wednesday at 6:00 PM, he leads the ESL Conversation Club. In this blog posting, Erik answers questions about himself and his interests.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a San Jose native who's lived in the South Bay my entire life. What I've always appreciated about growing up in the Bay Area is its sheer diversity. From a young age, I'd been exposed to various Latin American and Asian cultures that exist in San Jose, including their languages like Spanish and Tagalog. This is partly what spurred my initial interest in language. I decided to take Latin classes in high school, and knew by the end of my senior year I wanted to study language science in college. As of last spring, I finished up a linguistics and German language double major at SJSU. Having studied these two complementary degrees, I feel that I can contribute what I learned about language itself to the club. Topics we discuss range from current local or national events to language and cultural comparison. An analytical approach to language and a natural curiosity have allowed me to learn just as much from attendees as I hope they learn from the club itself.
Why are you interested in volunteering?
I wanted to get involved with volunteering since I'd never done any before. I have a goal of eventually teaching English abroad. I figured this position is great way to test the waters. I have a friend with similar goals who leads an ESL conversation club at the Berryessa branch, and he recommended it to me. Helping others improve their skill in English has been rewarding, especially having been on the other side of the aisle, so to speak. I spent a year studying in Germany, and I really appreciated those who would patiently spend the time to converse with me. That sort of exchange improved my German in ways that were impossible in the classroom. Likewise, conversation club is distinct from the ESL classes at the library in that it's more informal and less about grammar or pronunciation. Seeing as I'm a facilitator, I don't consider myself a teacher in the sense of being the 'head' of the club. Rather my role is to help create an environment where attendees feel comfortable to add to discussion or introduce topics of their own. Of course I answer questions and moderate discussions, but if a positive conversation is happening I keep my interruptions to a minimum. The club is for attendees to speak up, not me!
What do you like about Biblioteca Latinoamericana?
One thing I have noticed is the amount of activities available at this location. It seems every week I come in there is something to see: children's story time, ESL classes, and even creative cultural displays. I also appreciate the very existence of a multicultural library providing bilingual services. In my experience, the employees who provide those services have all been very helpful, and I've seen a clear mutual appreciation among all the volunteers. Overall, I view Biblioteca Latinoamericana as a unique offering among public libraries in the South Bay.
Alberto Cardona is a classically trained guitarist from Colombia. He has studied classical guitar for twenty years. He loves playing and listening to a variety of classical guitar music. Alberto also takes ESL classes from Cris at both Biblioteca Latinoamerica and East San Jose Carnegie Branch. One Tuesday in April, Alberto played some beautiful music for his classmates at one of Biblioteca Latinoamericana's ESL classes. Check out this awesome YouTube video where Alberto plays music for his classmates!
Are you interested in learning and practicing English? Please visit the following calendars:
Students are encouraged to bring a pencil and a three-ring binder.
There are several Family Learning Centers throughout San Jose that offer ESL classes. They are located at the following branches:
Partners in Reading (PAR) is the adult literacy program of the San Jose Public Library. Following is some information for new volunteers and for adults who need help with reading, writing, communication, and computer skills.
Imagine that you could not read a medicine label. What problems do you think might happen as a result?
Consider becoming a volunteer tutor to help change someone’s life, quite possibly your own. Become a volunteer tutor and work with an individual or a small group to tutor basic literacy skills. The next orientation and training begin on March 13, 2013. The 90-minute orientation is followed by two all-day training sessions at the King Library on Saturday, March 16 and Saturday, March 23.
The next learner orientation for adults who want to be part of PAR’s regular tutoring program for basic literacy will be on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Learners need to be over 18, live or work in San Jose, read or write below the 9th grade level, and be able to make a 6-month commitment.
For information about any of these opportunities and to sign up, please call (408) 808-2361. You can also find out more about Partners in Reading by visiting us online.
Partners in Reading has two new classes. If you are an adult, think about taking these two classes. They start in January, 2013 and will meet two times a week for 90 minutes each on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the King Library.
Contact PAR for orientation information and to sign up. The classes will be from January 8 to April 4, 2013. They will give you a lot of practice so that you can be a more independent writer. You will be confident that what you write is correct and easy to understand. You can sign up for one or both classes. Call (408) 808-2361 to find out more.
These words are from a current Partners in Reading tutor who is trying to encourage her neighbors to take a chance and become a volunteer. Would you like to do that too?
The Partners in Reading program of the San Jose Public Library is having a tutor shortage.
They currently have over 25 learners waiting and the list keeps growing.
A tutor training is scheduled for mid-July but they are not expecting nearly enough tutors to go around.
This is an amazing program that trains volunteer tutors to help adults learn to read.
Can you imagine
In 3 hours a week for six months (or more), you can help change someone's life.
You'll have an evening of orientation and two days of training, where you will learn and practice recommended teaching methods from expert teachers. You will learn about the tutoring experience, so you will be well-prepared when you meet your learner.
What kinds of people seek help from this adult literacy program?
You would meet with your learner at the King Library or a branch library. Study rooms can be reserved for privacy at a time convenient for you and your learner.
This can be a fantastic experience for you, as you share your love of words and reading, and find out what your learner can teach you! Also, if you prefer, you can tutor a small group of learners who are at similar levels working on the same goals.
If this opportunity sounds interesting to you, see http://sjpl.org/partutor - to sign up, contact (408) 808-2361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't delay, the next training session begins July 18th, 2012!!