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Sister T’s Corner

Archive for August, 2020

Language Partners Break Down Social Barriers with Improved English Skills

August 3, 2020

Language Partners give the highly prized gift of time and attention, acknowledging the value of each individual learner’s life experience in all its dimensions. Jessica* wrote the letter below to her 8-year-old daughter, Alicia*, with the help of her Language Partner while we were still meeting in person. This type of activity not only serves as a conversation and writing exercise, but also taps into and provides the vehicle for Jessica to express her internal motivation for acquiring English. Internal motivation is key to energizing perseverance in adult learners, especially during extraordinarily challenging times such as these.

When we transitioned to holding classes online, some days Jessica would Zoom in from her car. She was parked outside her workplace waiting for one group of employees to exit so that she could enter safely. Other days, she would join the class from home where she lives with extended family. Her younger daughter would be next to her drawing a picture. When Jessica’s son needed her presence to stay focused during his online classes, she began connecting to our afternoon class which we created for her and another student.

Our students keep showing up because they know that at the Rosalie Rendu Center, they are a part of a community that shows up for them. Our Language Partners continue to meet virtually.

Dear Alicia,

This is a letter from your mom. I want to share advice with you and appreciate my daughter. I love that you are creative. I feel proud that you are independent because you are interested in learning how to pray.

In the future, I hope that you will finish all of school and study what you love. Later in life, I would like you to go to Mexico to meet my parents and learn about the culture of Mexico. You are a great daughter. I love you so much.


Our students live out the truth that “love…always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7.

You can help our students! Learn how you can build up our community.

*Names changed for privacy purposes.

Sister Trinitas, warmly known as Sister T at the Rosalie Rendu Center, shares her reflections of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in the East Palo Alto community. Sister T and her team have been offering free, specialized ESL classes for over 15 years in a traditionally underserved neighborhood in the Bay Area. Hundreds of families have benefited from the resources at the Center, and Sister T continues to deliver on the promise to combat poverty through education.

For more information please call (650) 473-9522 or email us.

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