English Classes with the Day Laborers

ESL classes at B&B cafe.JPGEvery weekday from 11:00 to 1:00 you can find English classes at Laughing Horse Bookstore on NE 10th and Burnside. We are a self-run group of volunteers working with VOZ to fill what we see as a need among the day laborers: an accessible source of help with English. You don’t have to buy a book to come to our classes, or pay a fee or commit to a schedule. We as teachers work under the model of popular education, and we focus on the English that day laborers need and use: “pull it tight,” for example, has come up twice this month. In this way popular education demands a two-way conversation—that phrase had never leapt out at me as difficult to understand (though it is), and I had to ask about the context. Two day laborers started telling me about their work, which lead to errors committed through misunderstandings, which lead to more tough phrases, and how we feel when we make mistakes . . . while English isn’t the only thing being taught here, I’m also not the only one teaching.

For more information about classes, contact Liz John (johne [at] reed.edu) or Genevieve Roudane (roudaneg [at] reed.edu).