Monday, June 17, 2013

Program helps refugees enhance English skills

Refugees have to learn English to function in this country. Some learned a bit of English in their previous country, this class in Pittsburgh helps them get the American accents and meanings.   - - Donna Poisl

By Stephanie Hacke

Nay Nwoi recalls a time when she was scared to answer the telephone.

The 30-year-old Whitehall mother of three had just moved to the United States after spending 10 years in a refugee camp in Thailand and struggled to understand what the person on the other end of the line was saying.

So, she made a habit of telling the caller that she didn't speak English and would hang up the phone on whomever was trying to reach her.

Hours of practice, and English classes from the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council and Whitehall Public Library, have helped Nwoi master the English language.
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