Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Albert Cyprys - Volunteering for Those in Need

As part of his volunteer activities with the Polish Slavic Center in Brooklyn Albert Cyprys helps to organize lessons for new immigrants to learn English as part of their citizenship application process. By teaching English in the surroundings of the center it offers those studying in a familiar environment can aide the process. It can be daunting especially when they are older for people to master a new language.

Not being able to communicate using the English language can be a huge barrier to social inclusion. Without skills in English to be able to interact outside the home, can mean that immigrants struggle to integrate, often feel socially isolated and it can be very hard to find employment.

The lessons are often based on real-life, as managing ordinary events are essential for the immigrants to learn. Helping them to manage the vocabulary and phrases for day-to-day living, can make a massive difference to their lives and those of their families.

It’s not all about the mundane, talking about cultural things and current news can sometimes spark a lively, fun discussion. It is really important that the pupils can develop the language and gain confidence to make simple conversations and greetings as initial steps in the learning process.

Something that is enjoyable about teaching in your own neighborhood, as Albert Cyprys has discovered is being able to use topics in the lessons that are close to home for everyone, and therefore relevant and interesting to them. They are more familiar and comfortable with the topic and it creates a communal sense of belonging.