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My First Week at BRL

My name is Madison Bloomfield and I am one of BRL’s new summer interns! I just finished my third year at Wake Forest University, but I grew up here in Roanoke, and am excited to be spending the summer back in the “star-city”. I am a Spanish major with a double minor in Linguistics and Psychology, all of which seems to fit well here at BRL.

Today is our fourth day as interns and we have already learned and done so much! The first two days we had the opportunity to observe multiple different ESOL classes that are taught here each day. I loved getting to sit in on the classes and I was so impressed by the students’ excitement and motivation to learn English. It is apparent, from their bright smiles, that they are very proud of the knowledge that they have acquired so far. Additionally, I have been impressed by their willingness to make jokes or funny comments, because I know first hand how difficult it can be to have success with humor in another language. Many of the learners are women from Afghanistan and I have enjoyed getting to learn more about their culture, just from spending time in class with them. I am looking forward to next week when another intern and I will begin leading our own weekly English Conversation class!

Each of the three interns (myself included) have been matched with a learner that we will tutor weekly throughout the summer. All of us have been assigned to Basic Learners (BLs) who speak English as their first language, but wish to improve their reading and/or writing abilities. This week has been full of lesson planning and prep for our first tutor sessions, and I am eagerly waiting to meet my learner next week! Today I got to work with a brand new learner at BRL, which was kind of like a practice run for when regular tutoring starts. We worked on being able to write, recognize, and pronounce all the letters in the English Alphabet, and it was a nice way to ease into one-on-one tutoring.

This week has already been so full and fun that I cannot wait to see what the rest of the summer holds, and I am excited to get more adjusted here next week!

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