Twenty-Five Amaanah Refugee Services tutors were trained in Second Language Acquisition & ESL instructional Strategies by Multilingual’s Secondary ESL division.
Tutors from this non-profit organization work in small groups and one on one with immigrant and refugee students at many HISD campuses. Their effort also supplements in-class instruction serving as teacher’s aids during instruction.
Terry Armstrong, Secondary ESL senior manager, highlighted the importance of this training initiative since it’s the first time it has taken place. “We wanted to give Ammaanah Refugee Services tutors the tools to work effectively with English Language Learners. That’s why our focus during training was on second language acquisition, so they would gain knowledge in the different stages that a student learning in a second language goes through, as well as, giving them the instructional strategies or tools to make instruction for students more comprehensible in a second language.”
For Armstrong, this is a win-win situation. “Tutors now know what works and what doesn’t work regarding literacy and language development, and our students are better served. Additionally, teachers that are new to the classroom will see tutors applying all these wonderful strategies and they will say: ‘What was that? Let’s use these tools too!’. So, this is preparing them for training ahead of time.”
According to Multilingual’s Secondary Manager, the 25 tutors are now able to identify how to bridge the literacy gap, make instruction comprehensible, work in small groups effectively and, most importantly, understand that these tools are very practical and can be applied right away.
Currently, Amaanah Refugee Services and tutors not only work on making the refugee resettlement process fun, memorable, and life-changing for refugees and immigrant communities, but also seek to provide the support to students in Walnut Bend, Benavidez, Las Americas, Long Academy and Revere campuses. Next year, they will begin work at Sutton Elementary.