Partnering to Support International Residents of the Washington, D.C. Area & International Students
English Now! In the Community - Where Language and Culture Meet
At English Now!, our students learn English and so much more. Our educators find great joy in serving international residents of the Washington D.C. area, as well as students who are visiting from around the world. Whether our students plan to stay here for a few years or a few months, we want to make their transitions easier. Our classes and programs help newcomers engage in their communities, enjoy their time in the United States, and thrive in a new culture.
Engaging in the Community as a Volunteer
We encourage you to try volunteering as part of your experience in the United States to help you engage and serve your American community in a new way. Community service in the United States includes different types of volunteer activities. From assisting the elderly to providing food for the homeless, there are many ways to volunteer through non-profit organizations, schools, museums, and religious organizations. Volunteers help others by giving their time to support issues that they care about. In this way, volunteering can be an opportunity to work on a diverse team, with shared goals.
We invite you to consider volunteering at a one-time event, once a week, or once a month.Volunteering can offer you a chance to speak English outside the classroom. Throughout the year, English Now! organizes volunteer projects with local organizations to support students as they engage in rewarding, fun activities out in the community. English Now! also supports students in identifying specific volunteer opportunitites to match their interests.
As a community service to the Washington D.C.-area international community and our students and their families, we offer programs on language and culture at our school. We also partner with organizations including embassies, heritage language schools, and family associations of international organizations, to support international residents of the area and short-term visitors. We are happy to arrange a 90-minute session delivered to your organization - at your location or potentially at our school - at no cost, if you are nearby, one of our instructors is available at your suggested date and time, and your community would benefit from the program. Please contact us if you have questions about any of the following Language and Culture programs or would like to arrange one for your community.
Community Service Weeks
English Now! introduced Community Service Week to our program in March 2017. For Community Service Week, we chose activities that students could participate in on a one-time basis. English Now! students and staff volunteered at the following:
- Spend Yourself (food pantry), Arlington VA
- Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights (senior assisted-living facility), Chevy Chase MD
- Bethesda Cares, Inc. (community outreach program for the homeless), Bethesda MD
- The Cottage at Curry Manor (senior residential living residence), Bethesda MD
At these sites, students and English Now! staff helped food pantry visitors to fill bags of groceries, chatted with elderly residents while serving them snacks and drinks, participated in an intergenerational music, art and poetry program for elderly residents, met with elderly residents for tea and conversation, and prepared healthy snack bags for the homeless. Our first Community Service Week at English Now! was a great success. We are looking forward to arranging more community service events in the future!
English Now! Language and Culture Series
Ultimately, the goal of learning a new language is to improve communication between people. So why is it often hard to understand each other, even when we’re speaking the same language? Sometimes, our cultural differences need more explanation than our words. Our Language and Culture Series addresses the many aspects of culture that affect life in the United States. Participants become aware of cultural differences between the United States and other countries, and become more comfortable communicating in a variety of situations.
Language, Culture, and Education
Are you an educator who works with families who are new to the United States? Our Language, Culture, and Education Program addresses key questions, such as:
- How is the education system in the United States different from education systems in other parts of the world?
- What does a newcomer need to understand about communicating with teachers in the United States?
- What behaviors are expected from students, and what behaviors are acceptable?
A presentation that we deliver at this program is available for use for you with your community. (Download the Powerpoint presentation here.)
We also stock copies of an outstanding book by one of our partners, the Interchange Institute, called "Understanding American Schools: The Answers to Newcomers' Most Frequently Asked Questions". This is a great book for educators and for anyone who supports international families. See here for more information, or visit us and review a copy.
Language, Culture, and Parenting
Do you work with parents of young children who are new to the United States? Raising a family here might feel very different from what newcomers were used to in their native countries. Of course, parenting styles everywhere vary based on many factors, including income, education, and geographical region. Still, newcomers to the United States may wonder:
- Are there parenting styles that are typical in the United States?
- What is considered "good parenting" in the United States?
- Why are relationships between parents and their children so different here?
English Now! also invites newly arrived parents and their young children to join our Parent Talk Conversation Club. Please encourage parents who are seeking a local support network to contact us for more information!
Language, Culture, and Medicine
How does our language and culture influence how we interact with healthcare providers? In our Language, Culture, and Medicine classes, we explore questions such as:
- What makes an effective presentation?
- How can scientists speak conversationally about complex topics?
- What are effective strategies for communicating with colleagues by phone?
More about Language, Culture, and Medicine
Language, Culture, and the Global Workplace
Here in the Washington area, our workplaces are richly and uniquely diverse. Our colleagues and clients represent many cultures and many nations. With so many people adapting to a new work culture, good communication can be a challenge. Our Language, Culture, and the Global Workplace programs focus on questions, such as:
- What aspects of doing business in the United States are different from doing business in other parts of the world?
- How do people act during a business meeting in the United States?
- What happens at a typical interview with an organization based in the United States?
We can also support your organization's goals with classes at our school site in Bethesda. Alternatively, if your organization is located in the D.C. area, we can teach a corporate program at your location, taught by our same high quality instructors.
Contact us to explore Language, Culture, and your area of interest!