Promoting Hope and Confidence by Advancing English Proficiency

HELPING OTHER PEOPLE TO EXCEL:
Partnering with the Immigrant Community to Promote Hope and Confidence by Advancing English Proficiency.

Texas Christian University/ Public Health Nursing and First United Methodist Church Hurst have an ongoing service learning partnership. Data from the spring 2015 assessment identified that sustaining hope was an important need among immigrants. Hope is important because when it is found the person experiences relief and satisfaction, but, if lost, deep despair results.

FUMC Hurst hosts classes for immigrants, refugees, and asylees who are English language learners (ELLs). The spring 2015 public health students recommended implementing a Photovoice project to promote English proficiency and foster hope. Photovoice is a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique. As a practice based in the production of knowledge, photovoice has three main goals: (1) to enable people to record and reflect their community’s strengths and concerns, (2) to promote critical dialogue and knowledge about important issues through large and small group discussion of photographs, and (3) to reach policymakers.

In 2017, they developed three lessons to prepare more advanced English Language learners to help design a Photovoice project to inspire hope among immigrants. Participants learned about iconic photographs, informed consent, community based participatory research and citizen science.

All lessons designs required reading, writing, and speaking English to promote English proficiency. They paced content in the context of the U.S. history and what participants have learned about the U.S. Constitution to promote civil literacy. In addition, they promoted interactions among immigrants and nursing students to foster integration.

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