Sisters Janet Richardson & Rosalie McQuaide - ESL Classes
"WHEN YOU HEAR SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING!"
IMMIGRANTS, ESL CLASSES, AND WATT "...I came to America by the desire of my bishop, and with a heart full of hope for the extension of my work for Irish emigrant and working girls." So wrote Mother Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack) on page 4 of her autobiography The Nun of Kenmare.
When two of her Sisters of Peace (Janet Richardson and Rosalie McQuaide) met with a small group of women for prayer and discussion concerning the issue of migration -- the millions of men and women who leave their birthplaces to search for work, better living conditions, decent homes for their families and schools for their children, they heard an oft-repeated question "Why don't they speak English?" And the heart of their founder spoke in response, loud and clear: "Classes in English."
And so, the bulletin of St. Joseph parish for the fourth Sunday of Advent 2009 announces registration for the second semester of classes in English as a Second Language. The first semester had opened in September with a certified teacher and 6 experienced bilingual aides and a classroom full of eager adults with support from Women at the Table and the cooperation of Monsignor John Caulfield and the parish staff.
Many in the class arrive early and compare homework assignments with one another, or seek additional assistance from the teacher or aides. Entering the classroom, they call out "Good evening" and inquire of their teacher and aides "How are you?" before getting right down to business. Students, teachers and aides alike speak of the happy time each class is for them together, and they all look forward to next semester and to introducing their friends and neighbors to the class. A language lab is in process of being set up, which will provide opportunity for interactive practice in speaking English. The teaching team is meeting with parish staff and WATT co-directors during Christmas holiday to evaluate the program thus far and to plan for the future. For WATT, the Language Classes Project is as Margaret Anna Cusack had hoped, an extension of her work for emigrant women and men. Our hearts are "full of hope."
The above is taken from the WATT Christmas, 2009 newsletter which Janet Richardson, csjp and Rosalie McQuaide, csjp published.