WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2016

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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164 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 philippa Biggers claims the decision to begin Wellesley's English as a Second Language (ESL) program, came to her in a "light bulb moment." But what she doesn't spell out is that she had prepared for that moment all her life by following her interests and instincts. Born in Australia and raised in both Britain and the US, Biggers remembers the thrill of coming into New York harbor and being welcomed by the Statue of Liberty. She also remem- bers the difficulty of fitting in and adjusting after multiple moves between Britain and the US. Although an English speaker from the start, she says that moving back and forth between cultures "absolutely" led her to work with other immigrants. When her children were already in junior and senior high schools, Biggers, looking for something meaningful to do outside her home, naturally gravitated to volunteering at an ESL program. At the time, she had no notion of starting her own program. But over the course of the next three years, one thing simply led to the next. Wellesley Õ s ESL teachers tailor each class to meet the needs of individual students learning academics scholarship schoolwork curriculum teachers research Wellesley's ESL Program S U S A N S A B I N writer education

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