English Language Center had its beginnings in the language classes that were
offered through the Refugee Center from its inception in the 1980s. In the 80s, refugees were offered 2 or 3 classes each week at either a beginning or an advanced level.
In 2001, the English Language Center became it's own program. Now, we offer a semi-intensive program providing 3 hours of level appropriate instruction 5 days a week.
English Language Center offers classes in English language American Culture
Orientations Computer Literacy.
The core daytime classes consist
of several levels including: Literacy Beginning Intermediate Advanced
As well as a class for refugee elders.
Instruction in the classroom is structured
around current research in adult language acquisition. The curriculum is
derived from a joint effort between staff and participants. Methodology focuses
on projects involving the language rather than lessons isolating grammar and
vocabulary. Language is "discovered" as projects progress. Structured
forms are presented according to relevance to the project. Topics generally
focus on life skills, with the development of employability skills given
special consideration. Competency in computer literacy is developed in the
Refugees are people who are persecuted - or fear persecution - due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Immigrants are people born outside the United States who are permanent residents of the United States.
Here is some information on the countries that our refugees have come from in the last year. For more information about the current conflicts and crises in those areas, please check out the links below:
Afghanistan is home to the world’s first oil paintings,
found in the caves of Bamiyan, where the world’s two largest standing Buddhas
once stood. It is also the birth place
of the poet Rumi and boasts the worlds “wildest national sport”: buzkashi, or
displaced by crisis: Nearly
9 million Recognized
national languages: Pashto Dari
Called the “Land of Thunder Dragons” because of
powerful Himalayan storms, Bhutan is home to the world’s highest unclimbed
peak, Gangkhar Puensum. Bhutan is one of the only countries in the world where citizens
have a constitutional obligation to protect the environment.
almost 800,000 Recognized
national languages: Dzongkha
Lake Tanganyika in Burundi is estimates to be the
second largest, and second deepest, freshwater lake in the world. Burundi is
also the home to Gustave, a Nile crocodile who – at 7 meters long - may be the
largest crocodile in the world.
11 million Recognized
National languages: French
There are several national parks and wildlife
reserves in the Central African Republic that are home to hundreds of species
of animals including the endangered black rhinoceroses and bongo antelope.
4 million Recognized
Code d’Ivoire has two capitals; that official
capital at Yamoussoukro and the commercial and administrative capital at
Abidjan. Cote d’Ivoire is the largest exporter of cocoa and is home to the
The second largest country in Africa, the people of
the DRC represent over 200 ethnic groups with nearly 250 languages. It is also
home to the oldest national park in Africa; Virunga National Park.
Population: 67 million People displaced by
crisis: 1.6 million Recognized
national languages: Lingala Kituba Swahili Tshiluba
Because the constitution of Eritrea states
“equality for all Eritrean languages” there is no official language. Eritrea’s
waters are home to 1,400 fish species and 250 coral species (17-20% are found
6 million Recognized
National languages: Tigrinya Arabic Tigre Kunama Saho Bilen Nara Afar
Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world
and the only country the world to have a 13 month calendar; it is also the only
country in Africa with its own alphabet. The oldest fossil human skeleton was
found in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley.
99 million Recognized
national languages: Amharic
One of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations,
Iran has settlements dating back to 4000 B.C. and was home to one of the Seven
Wonder of the Ancient World; the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Iran is currently
home to 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Bam Citadel and the Lut
79.2 million Recognized
national languages: Persian
Called the “Cradle of Civilization”; Iraq is the
birthplace of the first written story “The Epic of Gilgamesh” as well as other
well-known classics like “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”. It is also one of
the three largest date producers in the world.
displaced by crisis: 3.4
national languages: Arabic Kurdish
Also known as ‘Burma’, Myanmar is the largest
country in mainland Southeast Asia and, like the United States, is one of only
three countries that don’t use the metric system of measurement. Myanmar is
home to the largest book in the world.
displaced by crisis: 1.7
national languages: Burmese
Pakistan boasts the largest canal-based irrigation
system, the largest earth-filled dam, and the largest salt mine in the world;
as well as the longest glacial system outside the polar region. Pakistan is
also home to a number of famous archaeological sites including Harappa, Taxila
and Takht Bhai.
Population: 200 million Recognized
national languages: English Urdu
Home to the worlds “last Eden”, Nouabal-Ndoki
National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a variety of unique
wildlife such as the okapi, African golden cat, and the giant otter shrew.
4 million Recognized
Formed in July of 1960, Somalia is known as the
“nation of poets”, with poetry playing a major role in Somali society. This is
also the place where camels were domesticated for the first time.
displaced by crisis: 17
of every 100 Recognized
national languages: Somali Arabic
The two tributaries of the Nile, the White and Blue
Nile, merge at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan where they flow north towards
Egypt and the Mediterranean. There are more pyramids in the northern Sudanese
desert than there are in Egypt.
40 million Recognized
national languages: Arabic English
The capital city of Syria, Damascus, is one of the
oldest continuously inhabited cities in the word and the National Museum if
Damascus contains artifacts from every age. Syria is a founding member of the
Displaced by crisis:11
national languages: Arabic
The first gas lamp was invented in Lviv, Ukraine, a
city in the west that is also known as the “café capital of the world “.
Ukraine boasts a long tradition of crafting beautifully intricate Easter eggs,
known as pysankas. Ukraine is also home
to seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the primeval beech forests of
42 million Population
displaced: possibly up to half a million Recognized
national languages: Ukrainian