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Teach in CORES benefits students and teachers

Gabrielle Green, A10, speaks to her grandfather mostly in Spanish, even though he lives in Los Angeles. Living in America for 47 years, he was never able to fully grasp English or the feeling that America was his home after emigrating from Ecuador. Her grandfather's disconnect with the country he lives in is one of the reasons why Green has remained active in the Teach in CORES program throughout her four years at Tufts.

"When you're an adult, it's really difficult to learn another language, especially English," says Green, who works as co-director of the CORES program. "I want to make our students understand America and make them feel like they really belong."

Teach in CORES provides English language and citizenship classes to immigrants at the Committee for Refugees from El Salvador (CORES) community center in Somerville. Working in consultation with Marcos Garcia, director of the center, Teach in CORES offers beginning and intermediate English classes plus citizenship instruction four days a week. Funded by the Civic Engagement Fund at Tisch College, the program depends on about 30 Tufts students, who volunteer for semester-long teaching positions.

Green says being a part of Teach in CORES has been her favorite activity at Tufts because she is not only helping others learn English and American history, but she gets to practice her Spanish as well. But the program is challenging, she says, especially when funds are short. Last year, they were forced to give up the second floor of the community center, leaving the CORES students and Tufts teachers cramped for space.

She hopes to be able to show her students TV shows and movies as a way to help them further their English by putting it into context. One way they accomplish this now is by showing the students YouTube clips of historical events and reviewing and translating newspaper articles.

"We see real results with our students," says Green. "It's so rewarding because this is something that stays with them forever."

For more information, please contact:
Mindy Nierenberg
Senior students program manager, Tisch College