The Literacy Center Launches Area’s First Intensive English Immersion Program
Attleboro, MA: The Literacy Center (TLC) in Attleboro has successfully completed a pilot year of its innovative English Immersion Program for speakers of other languages, a 25-hour per week curriculum intended to help English language learners progress quickly, immerse themselves in American culture, and enhance their lives.
Offered free to English language learners of all levels, the Immersion Program is the first of its kind in the local area. Over two semesters, 24 participants committed to an intensive combination of English language instruction, cultural immersion, workplace readiness, and conversation classes. All classes focused on a common objective: to ready students for success in their personal, educational and career goals. Students supplemented their classroom work with independent online study, optional computer literacy classes, one-on-one tutoring, and individual career advising from TLC’s in-house Career and Educational Counselors.
Plans for the English Immersion Program were already in the works prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was originally imagined as a traditional in-person experience, complete with visits to local cultural interest sites, invited guest speakers, and opportunities to collaborate in TLC’s historic building in downtown Attleboro. However, TLC staff didn’t allow the global health crisis to deter them and pushed ahead to launch the English Immersion Program in a virtual format, which has proved enormously successful and has attracted students from all over the state of Massachusetts.
Speaking at TLC’s recent Evening of Recognition, one student stated that the Immersion Program “has really been a life-changing experience for me. […] I am so grateful that I have made progress beyond anything I thought [was] possible.” Another student speaker noted that he had been looking for such a program for the past four years, commenting that, “It is not just English language. It is opening your eyes and opening […] doors for you to life in the United States.”
The launch of TLC’s English Immersion Program has been made possible by a generous grant from the Fred M. Roddy Foundation. The project will enter its second of two years in September 2021, with plans to grow the program into a cornerstone of TLC’s programming far into the future. The next Immersion cohort will start the first week of October and with the hopes that some of the programming will take place in-person. Anyone interested in signing up for the program can contact The Literacy Center at (508) 455-5382.
For the past 30 years, The Literacy Center has been enhancing lives and promoting self-sufficiency through quality adult education services. Offerings include ESL, GED preparation, and computer literacy classes; career counseling; one-to-one tutoring; and assistance studying for the US citizenship exam. All classes run year-round and students can join at any time.