Women on refugee status typically have less education and lower language proficiency than men. They also bear primary responsibility for care of the household and children. Consequently, it is more difficult for women with small children to access ESL classes that provide child care. Eventually, as their husbands and children gain language proficiency, women become increasingly isolated and lose authority within the home.
A family literacy approach to ESL provides women with accessible language programming as well as structured care for their children. Further, family literacy provides women with skills and modeling to become educators of their children.
We will provide two classes a week for 24 women and their pre-school aged children. Anticipated long-term effects include increased attendance in ESL classes, improved language proficiency, and adoption of literacy practices in the home.