NB4HS adult education programs target Haitians living in Rhode Island, comprising 95% of its program participant population. This effort is significantly challenged by the language barrier that almost all Haitian immigrants must confront. Haitian-Creole is the primary language of Haitians, with some people also speaking French. English is not taught in Haitian schools. This language issue is further exacerbated by a very low literacy rate amongst Haitians (Haiti has the lowest literacy rate in the Western Hemisphere at 60%).
The agency has tailored its program design to meet this challenge. Utilizing a dual-language approach, NB4HS is able to meet students where they are at and simultaneously address student language issues while making academic progress in preparation of gainful employment in an English-speaking work environment.
NB4HS presently has two Instructors. Our teachers are highly experienced adult educators, including a supervising instructor with a master’s in Cross-Cultural Studies and English as a Second Language, who has published extensively on multilingual learners and provided ESOL instruction in various settings since 1980.
Myriam and Frandy are native Haitian -creole speakers with a strong understanding of the cultural dynamics of the classroom and the needs and strengths of Haitian learners.
English language and computer instruction at New Bridges for Haitian Success
English language classes, unlike focused job training for a specific industry, comprise a range of needs, strengths and abilities and so do not necessarily follow a linear curriculum model.
Bi-Language Instructor - Level 1: In person
Tuesday and Friday 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
In terms of learning and assessments for Level 1, we focus a lot on the basics of spoken and written English that are practical for daily usage or interactions ( i.e. meeting and greeting, making transactions, learning and wring simple sentences). Progress is evidenced by mastery through conversational /role playing and written practice.
Myriam Jean Gilles
Bi-Language Instructor - Level 1: Online
Students practice all core skills such as reading, listening, speaking and writing. We focus on building their vocabulary, the proper usage of pronouns and simple common nouns and frequently used verbs.
Along the way, we practice completing job application, making a doctor’s appointment, or enrolling and attending parent teacher conference for their child/children.
At the end of level 1, students will need to show competencies in the ability to respond to some simple communication tasks and use key word to communicate social concepts.
In addition, we cover American history and discuss current events. This allows the student to get acclimated to the culture.
Myriam Jean Gilles
Bilingual language Instructor
Level 1 in online
Monday - Thursday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM
ESOL Instructor - Level 2: Online
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sequencing: Level 2 classes utilize an emergent curriculum model, meaning that the students negotiate topics and skills on an ongoing basis. Because of changing work schedules and other training demands, attendance will fluctuate. Therefore students will name topics of interest - either continuing from a previous class, and/or suggesting new questions that arise, such as questions about holidays, health access resources, energy assistance, and language questions around tenses, pronunciation, vocabulary, usage. Teachers draw on resources found within and beyond the curriculum to address these questions and use Whatsapp to share any writing, links or other resources used during a particular session.
Pathways - placement is determined by level, which are very basic/emerging literacy level, beginning and low intermediate and intermediate and low advanced. Program staff assess incoming students based on written application and oral interview.
Students' progress is assessed formatively - teachers will confer with students as they seem to approach readiness for a new level. While we use the CASAS as a standardized assessment, in keeping with our work with the Genesis Center, our true assessment of learners' progress lies in our ongoing observation of their interaction in class, their progress with reading and writing and oral/aural communication.