WellesleyWeston Magazine


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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Page 170 of 211

employee load the bags and carts; other mar- kets do things in other ways. A different ESL workshop, also proposed by an instructor, has students create poetry, which, she sug- gests, "will accustom students to the sounds and rhythms of the language." Yet, "using simple vocabulary [a student] can express very deep emotional content." A third class, which Biggers herself designed for elderly Chinese beginners, is handled entirely by Chinese speaking volunteers who are them- selves students in the program. This gives isolated seniors, who often don't drive, a way to socialize with the Chinese speaking vol- unteers. For the instructors, the class is as much about receiving the gift of giving back as it is about teaching English. Ever practical, Biggers tries to help every student and every teacher succeed. She will not take any students unless they can read the English alphabet. "Our teachers are not professionally trained, and classes meet only once a week, so we would be setting up for failure." Beginners are directed to classes, so they can meet each other, whereas more advanced students are assigned to an indi- vidual tutor. Many higher learners do both. Since people enter the program at every level, everyone needs a tailored program. Some intermediates may not be well educated and have limited vocabularies, but speak without hesitation. Professionals from other places, also intermediates, may have big vocabularies and read with understanding, but have diffi- 169 s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e

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