Becoming an English Tutor

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March 24, 2016

Jessica- Hillside Intern

Some of our interns have been loving their city by serving as English tutors. Intern Jessica shares about her experience partnering with YWAM as a tutor.

“Today is my last meeting with my student through YWAM Richmond’s English learning program. For the past few months I have been meeting a few times a week with a delightful Brazilian woman, named Ana.

“At first I was nervous about being someone’s teacher when they had come to America, specifically to learn English. I was worried I would teach her something wrong or not have all the answers to her questions. And I probably did do many things wrong, and used Google almost every time we met.

“But the difference in her language skills between when we first started and now is amazing to see. The moments when I was able to effectively describe a difficult concept, like how to make the ‘w’ sound, were real victories. Or the times when Ana asked a question that led to us both to learn something new about the English language. These were the rewarding moments.

“Through this experience, I gained a lot of knowledge about teaching, but I also gained a friend. Despite the slight language barrier, Ana and I have had some of the best conversations. I think there is something about being friends with someone from a different culture that makes you more able to be vulnerable and share real things. Our lessons became less about grammar and tenses, and more about our stories.

“We talked about everything from her life in Brazil with her husband and my life here, to her photography business and dreams for that, to God and how being a Christian changes the way we live. Because Ana is about ten years older than me, I asked her for advice all the time and she knows about some of the most important things going on in my life. I am grateful to have been able to teach this amazing woman and grow closer to her over these months. I pray that Ana is able to go on to do the things she dreams of, and that she will make an impact on refugees in Brazil.”

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