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 In Parent Partner Program

eslgrad2Last week we celebrated the Graduation Ceremony for the parent ESL class at Marshall, taught by Julie McNamara (who also is the 4th grade coordinator for the Extended Day Program at Marshall). All the students were given a copy of a cookbook that was created collaboratively by all the students in the class and then Marshall Principal, Peter Avila, and Family Liaison, Araceli Villalobos, helped to pass out certificates for all 12 students who participated in the class.

Afterwards, while everyone sat and finished eating all the wonderful food that the class brought for the potluck celebration, there began an impromptu sharing of testimonials from some of the students in the class about the impact that participating has had in their daily lives. It was wonderful, emotional way to cap the year and truly demonstrated the positive impact that this program has had. Here is some of what we heard (translated into English):


“At my daughter’s pre-school, she is friends with another little girl whose mother doesn’t speak Spanish. When the other day, the mother asked if we could hang out together so that the girls could have a play date, my initial reaction was to say “No”, because I didn’t know how we would communicate. But then, I decided to just go ahead and try it. It wasn’t easy, but the whole time I kept thinking about the things I had learned in Ms. Julie’s class and somehow we made it worked. We spent 3 hours together, had a wonderful time and are already planning to get together another time.”

– Marta Ortiz

eslgrad1“Before taking this class, I wouldn’t really feel comfortable going anywhere by myself where people didn’t even speak English, not even to get coffee. I would just ask my husband to go for me. But this year, I have been in situations where my husband wasn’t around and I had to go myself, and I have found that I can really do it!”

– Marta Ortiz

“I have been in this country a long time, and have even gone to school here, so I feel pretty comfortable with reading and writing in English. But I have always been shy about speaking it, especially with my pronunciation. But Ms. Julie has been so patient with me and helped this past year and I feel more confident now. I am even finally able to go on job interviews, which I never would have felt comfortable doing.”

– Edith Oliva

“Since I started taking this class, I have felt better able to help my son with his reading in English. I can tell he has really good pronunciation, but now I can follow along with him and I can even catch when he makes some mistakes sometimes.”

– Lucia Duran

“I have always felt quite comfortable speaking English, but in my new job I have to do a lot of reading and writing. Taking Ms. Julie’s class this year has definitely helped me with that.”

– Dulce Gutierrez

“I used to take ESL classes at City College and I prefer the classes at Marshall better. Here I feel more comfortable to practice speaking without worrying about what others might think. I also really appreciate the attention Ms. Julie has paid to help us with our pronunciation, which is something I have never gotten at any other ESL class I have taken.”

– Susana Martinez

“I really appreciate how Ms. Julie works with each student individually to help them with that they need. It doesn’t matter what level of English they had before they started coming.”

– Gloria Esteva



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