Wednesday, February 18, 2009

English Works

I attended a lovely ceremony today, hosted by Wainwright Bank in Boston and organized by the MA Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. (MIRA's executive director, Eva Millona, is shown here.) It was an occasion to recognize a number of employers who had supported workers by offering English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. BIDMC has joined Brigham and Women's Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital in offering this kind of on-site training program.

The classes are taught by people from Jewish Vocational Services, who offer language training at four consecutive levels. There is a rigorous assessment program, so that people only progress when they are ready and so they can be accurately placed into the appropriate level. Classes are 2 hours per day, twice a week, for a semester. We currently have 26 people enrolled from BIDMC, including those shown here -- Marie L. Lambert, Maria Carter, and Ababu Tolla -- who were on hand for the award ceremony.

Boston's Mayor Tom Menino presented the awards, thanked those employers who currently offer ESOL programs, and urged us to encourage other employers to do likewise.


Unknown said...

I'm so glad to hear BIDMC and other employers are providing opportunities like this! If I were going to be in the Boston area/with BIDMC for longer, I'd have loved to get involved with this program.

Congrats to BIDMC on being honored, and to the workers taking advantage of the opportunity to learn! From my own experience teaching a class for hispanic immigrants studying for their US Citizenship exam, I'm very familiar with the sacrifice & dedication it takes for these types of students who are also working full days.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to BIDMC and the other participants - this shows great commitment to your employees as well as to providing the best service possible to your patients