Multicultural conversations are taking place in ESU branches across the country. Long-term English in Action programs continue in Seattle, Portland, Central Pennsylvania, Columbus and Lexington, and other branches are joining in. Kansas City's brand new English in Action program is growing in partnership with the Kansas City public library, and in Monmouth County, a similar program kicked off last fall.
Wherever there are immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, or even visiting scholars and businesspeople, there may be a need for native speakers to help them with their English. In the one-to-one conversation practice of English in Action, these English language learners can improve their comprehension and fluency without fear of making mistakes. As for the volunteer tutors, they have the opportunity to use their skills to help their conversation partners become more confident in a new language. Global friendships are made and there is learning on both sides.
Patricia Moore, coordinator of the Columbus EiA program, sent us this photo with a heartfelt note: "Many of our EiA students hail from China. In April of 2017, I visited China and was able to meet many of my former conversation partners. . . . This photo was taken on my first night in China in Xi'an. My former conversation partners, along with three of their children, had a welcome dinner for me. I felt like a celebrity! English in Action has opened so many doors to me. I have learned so many things about other countries and cultures. But, most importantly, I have made wonderful friends and feel so blessed to have all of them in my life."