Language Barriers for Leon County Residents

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Frances Joseph moved from Haiti a year ago speaking little English, Joseph says this transition was scary, but with the help of ESOL, English for Speakers of Other Languages made the transition easier.

He now is able to help his neighbor, who recently moved from Haiti.

"This is important. She would like to find a base job so she can have the skills already and she wants to improve her speech so that she can communicate with everybody," said Frances Joseph.

The course helps people like Joseph adjust to the new culture and prepare them for employment.

"It's remarkably successful; we have students that don't speak a word of English when they begin and in a very short time they are able to communicate on a basic level, continuing up," said Karen Gotti, ESOL Program Coordinator.

Yong Hong Chen moved from China. She is now able to communicate and participate in daily tasks, something she was unable to do only two months earlier.

“I need to speak with friends, I need to read newspapers and watch TV," said Chen.

The courses give Cheng the confidence they need to become a part of the community.