Success Story: Sylvia & Aysha

Our November Success Story (also featured in our e-mail newsletter) highlights the partnership, and friendship, of ELL learner Aysha and her tutor, Sylvia Stocker.

Sylvia Aysha web edit

Sylvia and Aysha began working together in May. At that point, Aysha had been in the U.S. for three months. A native Egyptian, Aysha spoke Arabic (which Sylvia doesn’t speak at all) and although Aysha had previously studied English a little bit, she spoke and understood very little when she first arrived in Maine. “When we first met, I had to speak very slowly and explain things many different ways until Aysha understood me,” said Sylvia. “But now I speak at my usual pace, and Aysha understands.”

Aysha reports that learning a language requires daily practice and studying. After being in the U.S. for nine months and working hard on her English, she says, "Now I can understand everything." Recently, Aysha took part in Midcoast Literacy’s Conversation Cafe, where she enjoyed practicing English with other native speakers. “Aysha is an amazing student,” said Sylvia. “She is so dedicated and self-directed. She works very hard, and it shows.”

Beyond learning new words and grammar, Aysha and Sylvia have developed a wonderful friendship, and Aysha has expanded her circle of friends by meeting some of Sylvia's friends. Aysha and Sylvia have met together at several different locations, including Curtis Library, Wild Oats, the Brunswick Farmers' Market, and the Bowdoin College art museum. But usually they meet at Aysha's house, where the two share delicious Egyptian food while they work together, much to Sylvia's delight!

Congratulations to Aysha and Sylvia for building a strong and successful tutoring partnership, and keep following us for more success stories from our tutors throughout the year!