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Bridging the language divide

Diane Miessler,center, a tutor and board member for Partners in English Language Learning, reads to the children of students who attended a fall potluck.
Photo submitted by Donna Cobb |

This fall, tutors and students from Partners in English Language Learning (PiELL) attended the fifth annual Tutor and Student Potluck picnic at Memorial Park in Grass Valley. The picnickers enjoyed great food together, including barbecued hot dogs, dishes from the students’ countries of origin and salads and desserts provided by PiELL volunteers. They also enjoyed attempts to communicate across the language divide, with limited “second language” skills on both sides. Hilarity, at times, ensued, as did teaching moments, as one tutor read to the children of some of the PiELL students.

PiELL trains volunteers to teach English as a second language to adults, one on one, free of charge. Many of PiELL’s students are working full time and raising children, yet they make time to do the hard work of learning English. The next two-day tutor training session will be Feb. 2 and 9. Those interested in volunteering for PiELL as a tutor or board member or know someone who wants to learn English as a second language may call (530) 274-8428 for information or visit http://www.piell.org.


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