Kadora Khalek Morgan recently passed her citizenship test. She is grateful for the friendship and support of RefugeeNet, and she hopes that her children may be able to join her someday. U.S. law requires refugees to become permanent residents one year after arriving. Our staff help refugees apply for legal permanent residency. Volunteers like Cindy Schuricht work one-to-one on English skills. She shares her experience here:
“I helped Kadora learn English in preparation for the exam. Kadora could answer the test questions, but if I varied the wording, she didn’t know the answer. I tried to make sure she wasn’t just memorizing, but really understood, by bringing in maps, photos of the people she needed to know, asking her to put events in sequence, and using graphic organizers.
When she had location words, we took a walk around the block and made a map of what we saw. I took her to the zoo where she located animals she wanted to see on the map. It was fun to see how much she enjoyed the animals from Africa. Then I asked her which direction we should go. We had a great time, but I can’t claim she knows how to read a map.
It’s been an adventure and I feel like we fly by the seat of our pants, trying to build on what she’s learning in her formal English classes. She knows a lot of names for objects and now I’m seeing her improve in grammatical construction, but she still second-guesses herself. So the goal now is for her to trust herself. And bit-by-bit, I learn from her where some of the stumbling blocks are and how I can better help.” +
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