Success Story: Jen & Jeanette

For our June tutoring success story (also featured in Midcoast Literacy's e-mail newsletter) we’re highlighting the progress of English language learner Jeanette and her tutor Jen.

Jen Jeannette for newsletter

Jeanette's story is an example of how a learner and tutor's dedication to each other and to learning can lead to big life changes. Jeanette and her husband are new Mainers who moved to Brunswick in 2019. She began working with Midcoast Literacy tutor Jen Litchfield in February of 2020. “When we began, Jeanette had next to no usable English,” said Jen. “She had been attending a class at the community college but it was too fast and advanced to be of any use to her [as a beginner], and she was frustrated with the lack of progress.”

In contrast, one-on-one tutoring with Jen could be tailored to where Jeanette was and what she needed to work on. The two began to work together twice a week, and kept it up during the pandemic, through remote teaching for a time and then transitioning back to in-person sessions (wearing masks and separated by a partition) as soon as they could. Jeanette was very motivated and excited to learn English, and as the weeks went by that motivation translated into results. “Working with Jeanette over these past 15 months has been for me a truly inspiring experience,” says Jen. “We work for up to two hours twice a week, and not only does good work get done but we also have fun and laugh a lot. She has made great progress in understanding, speaking and reading.”

After a little over a year tutoring with Jen, Jeanette has progressed from almost no English to holding a full-time job. “When I come to work, my boss, when he speaks to me in English, I understand,” says Jeanette. And thanks to practice with Jen, Jeanette is also finding she can have conversations in English in even more contexts. “Last week I went to the clinic to have my teeth cleaned, she told us. “They said I can have interpreter. I said to the dentist, ‘no, I can speak, I can understand!’" Congratulations to Jeanette and Jen, and keep following us for more success stories from our tutors throughout the year!