Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Humbling Endeavor

I'm half way through my ESL (ESL Tutor Pre-Service Training) and ABE (Reading, Writing, and GED Tutor Pre-Service Training) tutoring courses at the Minnesota Literacy Council...

If life permits I'll finish the ESL training next week.  The last six hours of the ABE will have to wait until early December.  My fellow volunteers come from all walks of life.  We vary in age from 18 to 80.  Some are retired, others of us are still at work.  The instructors are patient, kind, and clever.  My biggest take away so far is the immensity of the effort that adult language and reading learners apply to the task of learning English.  The MLC has several simple yet painfully effective methods to demonstrate just how hard it is for adults to decode a new language.  A single wicked worksheet rendered me barely literate and a little dyslexic, something I have never experienced in 50 years of reading.  I'm loving it, but this is humbling stuff.