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“I feel like I’m just starting to walk.”

Maria is from El Salvador. Last year, she enrolled in the MAM ESL program in the basic level English class. But because she only went to school through third grade, her Spanish reading and writing skills were very basic. She was so overwhelmed in English class because of her limited Spanish literacy.

Maria said, “I came to ESL classes and tried to pay attention, but I didn’t know what it was that I was missing. Joanna (MAM ESL Coordinator) was my teacher and she saw that I was trying. But I had so much trouble because I didn’t have the foundations. Pete began tutoring me in Spanish to focus on what I was missing.”

Pete, MAM's ESL Program Manager, began one-on-one tutoring in Spanish with Maria in January 2017, working on re-learning the alphabet and phonetics. She has improved and her confidence has increased. She now reads books in Spanish independently, and is beginning to bridge into English. She finds the transition much easier now, and is currently reading a book about Cesar Chavez in English. She writes notes in the books, translating sentences into Spanish to continue her understanding of both languages.

“I feel like I’m just starting to walk," said Maria.

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