If you learn English, you open all the doors

“I learn about much in this class because my communication is more comfortable. I feel much more confident,” says Vianey, a student in Literacy Network’s English for Parents program at Sauk Trail Elementary School. Her confidence has grown in her communications at home, in the community, and at work.

“My boys say, ‘Hey, mom, you can do it. We believe in you. And sometime it’s gratifying because they believe in me. That’s wonderful,” Vianey says. I don’t have kids [at home] right now, but right now I have my grandson (8 years). My fight with him all the time is I don’t have my pronunciation very well. My grandson speak in English—sometimes it’s hard with communication with him because he always tell me ‘No, grandma. Don’t say that! You need to say it the other way.’ And I say, ‘OK. Can you repeat again? Maybe I learn like you.’ And he says, ‘Hmm. OK, grandma. It’s OK.’ And he try to help me . . . Sometimes I read stories with him and sometimes we see movies in English. Sometimes I talk with him in English.”

“I’m more comfortable in my work because I am assistant. I work at housekeepers in a hotel. And sometimes it’s difficult because I try interaction with the guests, and the front desk, with my coworkers, my boss, with everybody! So, I’ve had a lot of communication so when I have trouble with this, I feel really frustrated sometimes because maybe they don’t understand me. But sometimes the people make me feel good because they tell me, ‘Hey! Don’t worry. You are good. I understand you.’ So maybe some grammatic and some present and past verbs are my difficult right now, but I try every day! It’s really, really hard, but I do it . . . Right now I have more interaction with the computers and some programs. So, I will learn more English. This is my challenge and my goal right now. I see the person a step up me and they have a lot of things I have and I say, ‘Wow. I can do that! If I have [more English] maybe I do that. I don’t know. All is possible.”

“My challenge in this moment is to try to have more communication with everybody and have more interaction with the persons around in my community. That is my challenge right now . . . Sometimes it’s difficult because in the household it’s Spanish. But when you have to go to the “real” world, you say, ‘I have to learn more English. I need to speak more English and have more communication . . . When was my kids in the school, they’ll have this communication with the teacher, or with their friends, or with their friend’s mother. Sometimes it’s difficult when you don’t meet the other persons around your kids. It is difficult. Maybe if I put more attention and I put more listen and I take my class, maybe I don’t have this [challenge].”

“The teacher here, actually, she is really amazing because she has a lot of passion with us and she help a lot. We feeling like a little child right now. We are lost but, with the teacher, we’re found. So I like this—the passion, the communication, the support. The support is really nice.”

“This program help a lot of the people. A lot. A lot. A lot. In this country, always there are good people—nice people—and sometimes those people help. That is Literacy Network for me. I have too much grateful with Literacy Network. It is really nice for me, and my family, my work, and my community.” Vianey’s advice to others: “This program is like your protection, your future, your present, your past. If you learn English, you open all the doors. All the doors. If you have the opportunity to stay in Literacy Network, don’t leave it!”