Pots clanging. Orders flying. In the fast-pitched pace of restaurant life, being able to communicate quickly and clearly is a must. For this reason and many others, Ponciano comes back to the Literacy Network each week.
“I use my English in my work and everything,” he says, sitting in one of our learning rooms. “I use my English, so I need to work hard. Maybe next year I can talk perfect.”
Ponciano’s first language is Spanish. He recently moved to Madison with his prometida, or fiancée, who’s attending school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ponciano found our offices by chance. One day, he stepped inside, and it wasn’t long before we found a tutor who matched his needs. We paired him with Louise Elvord, a linguistics specialist who is adept at working with ESL learners.
“I’m noticing a big improvement in his ability to articulate,” Louise reports. “He’s doing really well.”
Ponciano works actively to improve his English. He has a goal in mind. One day, he’d like to own his own business. To him, finding his voice is the first step toward this dream.
“I think it is very, very important. We need to talk English,” he says. “Right now, I feel better because I understand almost everything. We need to understand, and we can rise.”