This semester the Institute for G.O.D. Int’l is offering a Literacy course for those who desire to work the arena of literacy work in the developing world. As part of our training, we have begun working with individuals throughout the Nashville area who have little to no literacy skills in English. Most of our students are refugees who have made their home in Nashville, coming from places like Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt and Mexico. Nashville has one of the largest populations of refugees among all cities in America. Illiteracy is a constant roadblock that prevents people from applying for jobs, looking for other opportunities, helping their children with homework, or reading Scripture.
Our literacy students at the Institute have been learning about different learning styles and literacy methods that will allow us to adjust our lesson plans to the needs of our students. Our aim to teach people not just to read the words on a page, but to also read the world around them – their social context and situation in light of history. Our goal is not simply to equip our students with functional literacy skills (Ex: read street signs, prescription bottles), though we do want to ensure they can function within the world we live in. We also aim to help them become critical learners able to evaluate their world, and then bring about change to it. Believe it or not, literacy can enable a person to do this!
One of our Institute students who has taken courses in literacy, Ashley Moore, shares her experience:
“Every Wednesday night I meet with a woman named Amina at a local library. I am helping her to become literate in English. When I walk in she is ready and eager to get going with the lesson. Already she is starting to see results. Last week Amina and I talked about what it would be like for her to read a book to her child. She was ecstatic about the idea (she has two elementary aged children) and she excitedly learned 20 new words. We are both excited for new possibilities.”
Written by: Jeff Sherrod