Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ESL teacher emphasizes social survival skills

Jann Sweenie teaches ESL and tells about all the things her students learn and practice and all the countries her students come from. All with the goal of succeeding in this country. - - Donna Poisl

by Edward Guthmann, Special to The Chronicle

Jann Sweenie has taught English as a Second Language for 25 years. Originally she planned to teach comparative literature on the university level but discovered she could be more directly involved in students' lives through ESL. A native of Nebraska, Sweenie, 53, lives in Berkeley with her Mexican-born husband, Luciano Cortes. Their older daughter graduates from college this year and their younger from high school.

I teach English as a Second Language at the Berkeley Adult School, the Beginning Low level, one step up from literacy. My students come from all over the world as immigrants and refugees. They're your toddlers' babysitters, the mothers of your kids' classmates, the cooks at Burger King and your Thai restaurant, the prep cooks and dishwashers in restaurants all over the East Bay.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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