English language learners are getting their shot at the American dream, thanks to free ESL classes. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
For English-language learners like Rosa, having access to free English second language classes is a step on her road to achieving the American dream.
"I like to study English because it's very important for myself, for my children, for better communication," said Rosa.
Rosa studies English at the Queens Community House in Forest Hills four days a week. Her class is represented by speakers of more than 10 different languages from more than a dozen countries.
On Tuesday, the students shared what they've learned by launching their first Facebook Live video. Students like Katie are excited about what the future will bring as she continues to learn English.
"Because I think I live in this country, so I need to school more English for maybe after working, maybe for friends," said Katie.
Instructors say the classes go beyond just learning the language.
"It's also important about learning the culture. So for example, in this class, this semester, we're reading Muhammad Ali. So we're learning about the history of civil rights and equality," said Adam Skarbinski, an ESL Instructor at the Queens Community House.
The program's director says during a time when many immigrants feel uncertain about their place in the new presidential administration, the English classes takes on a whole new meaning.
"It's also very empowering to come to class every single day and meet immigrants who have the same concerns, who have the same fears of getting deported, who have relatives, who might get deported, who might get stopped at the airport," said Bino Realuyo, the director of Adult Education at the Queens Community House.