Waterloo, IA

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YWCA English class teaches people of various languages, cultures

Umaru Balde works with students at the refugee English class
Umaru Balde works with students at the refugee English class at YWCA Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, in Waterloo, Iowa. The YWCA has seen a big spike in Burmese and Congolese refugees attending its English classes.

"WATERLOO — The classroom was abuzz with conversation at YWCA of Black Hawk County.

It should be. It’s a language class.

But the language is one the students aren’t used to — English.

Natives of Mexico, Congo, Angola, Burma and others gather at the Y — all in the same room — to learn English. A group of University of Northern Iowa students are there to learn to teach it.

And seeds of the universal language of education and understanding are being sown among those gathered.

The class is informal, but structured and focused. Learners, interpreters and coaches are broken into small groups, each focused on language tasks at hand."

Read the full article.

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