Kanawha literacy group training ESL tutors for free

To help with the increased demand of English as a Second Language students, the Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County is offering training for tutors.

The free training is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Angel Place, behind Piedmont Elementary, in Charleston.

“We’ve been around for more than 30 years,” said Susan Leffler, vice president of the board. “We teach reading, writing and skills to teach literacy. We seem to be having an influx of immigrants reaching out to us interested in ESL.”

Leffler said the program has about 24 students, with roughly half of them ESL students, and they anticipate more will come.

Tutors in the program work one-on-one with their students. There are, however, occasional exceptions for couples or families, Leffler said.

“We try to meet the individual needs of our students,” she said. “Usually it’s one-on-one. We meet people in a public space with a private space, like the library.”

Those interested in the training must write and read English and must attend both days of the training.

Anita Cohen will teach the training, which will cover culture shock, language learning, vocabulary, dialogs, listening, pronunciation, grammar, reading, writing and lesson planning.

After the training is completed, the organization will match tutors with students. Tutors will work on a volunteer basis.

“We ask tutors to commit to an hour a week for a year,” Leffler said. “Usually the tutors and the students work out a schedule to meet about twice a week.”

Registration is required. To register, call the Literacy Volunteers of Kanawha County office at 304-343-7323. Materials and the training are free.

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