“My name is Tadesse, and I attend English classes at the English Learning Center. I came to Minnesota from Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, in September of 2010.
When I first came to the United States, I grew sick and tired with what I saw as three kinds of barriers: the language barrier that I felt when going to shop, taking directions, talking on the phone, etc.; the cultural barrier that I felt in food, friendship, and much, much more; and the “how-to” barrier, as in how to get a telephone, talk to doctors, and find a home. One day I started thinking what to do in order to speak better English. I decided to go to school.
I began to come to the English Learning Center in November of 2010 and started in level 4 English class. I also studied advanced math.
When I started English classes, I began learning the basic components of English: reading, writing, and speaking. In my classes, I also learned how to apply for jobs and how to use different styles of English. I have improved my pronunciation and accent so that people can understand me much better now, and I can speak with them confidently.
I am now in level 5 English in the morning program. Since I started school, I got a job, and I also started to volunteer at the English Learning Center teaching math in the evening program.
I truly appreciate the school and its volunteer teachers. I thank my teachers and the staff for their patience, flexibility, and friendliness. You changed my life. My thanks are always with you.”