16 SPRING 2018 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
Newcomers to a community can sometimes find it difficult
to integrate into community life. Those from another country who
don’t speak English can be overwhelmed. Fortunately, the Library offers
a world of opportunity and a welcoming community through its English
as a Second Language program, where no one is an outsider and
everyone is welcome.
Tuesday evenings become international evenings when the ESL class meets on the
Main Library second floor. People from around the globe connect with tutors to
learn the English language and American ways. Some are here for a short time for
school or work, and others are putting down roots. Many live in Shaker and others in
communities across the East Side.
The late Brondy Shanker, an expert reading teacher and Shaker resident,
launched the ESL program at the library 25 years ago. Since 2015, Carolyn Steiner
has led the program with help from enthusiastic volunteers who use Brondy’s
Magic Reading Patterns curriculum for teaching vocabulary. ESL tutors find the
curriculum easy to use and Steiner is seeking ways to
share Brondy’s work and teaching model with more
ESL groups. Steiner keeps a rolling suitcase stocked
with stories at various reading levels, and is busy
designing a more easily replicated system.
Teaching ESL at the Library offers many rewards.
Steiner is enthusiastic about meeting, teaching, and learning from people from
around the world, and building a loving community in the classroom. “Teaching ESL
is a great way to tie together so many of my passions,” says Steiner. Those passions
include welcoming people from all over the world, brushing up on languages,
@ Shaker Library
as a Second
Language Comes First
at Shaker Library