August 3, 2004 > American English for Women
American English for Women
by Deana White
On June 30, the Union City Library launched its innovative language resource program, American English for Women. The volunteer based five-week pilot program is designed to meet the specialized needs of women wishing to improve their conversational American English skills.
Currently, twenty-five women, from teens to grandmothers, gather in the library's meeting room to brush up on their English skills. For 90 minutes, instruction focuses on the English phrasing of such universal concepts as gardening and family life.
"We're hoping to create a comfortable environment where women can relax and learn to be effective communicators in English," says program coordinator, Cathy Reed Weber.
According to Weber, who studied linguistics at Texas A & M University - Commerce, mixed-gender classes can be daunting for those women whose ethnic heritage and upbringing may cause them to be shy around males. For this reason the workshops are taught by a female volunteer staff.
Weber notes that, "many of the women [involved in the program] are well-educated and hold degrees in their native languages. So in these cases, traditional English as a Second Language instruction is more than they need."
For more information on this or any other program, please contact the Union City Library at (510) 745-1464.