Lakeview teachers teach ESL students English and the American Way

Emily Costa, Staff Writer

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  Both drama teacher, Devon Fralick; and French teacher, Natalie Bowen teach ESL students living in America the English language. Fralick works for a company called Global LT, or Global Language Training and Bowen volunteers to teach refugees English for a company called Simaratis.

  Global LT is an international corporation that primarily works with other corporations in Detroit. They usually focus on automakers, like General Motors. who bring people to the US to work for them.

  “They have a problem finding engineers, and because General Motors has factories, plants, and offices worldwide, they started looking worldwide to fill these open positions,” said Fralick

  GM has drawn talents from many different countries.

  “They have gotten talents from Brazil, the Middle East, China, and Germany,” Fralick informed.

  Currently, Fralick is working with two families; a family from Brazil and a family from China.

  Fralick does not just teach the parents English, but the children too. She spends a year teaching them twice a week. Because the families have their first home in America, Fralick teaches the families all about home ownership and basic things about living.

  “They’ve purchased their first home, and they don’t really know anything about homeownership, so I go over such things like the furnace, how you take care of your furnace, and how often you change the filter,” Fralick said.

   Natalie Bowen volunteers with an organization called Simaritis. Simaritis works with families all over the world, all ages, all languages and they provide them with hosts in America, usually it’s a church organization that helps pay for them to live here.

  “The goal is complete independence within six months,” Bowen stated.

   Simaritis works with other organizations for these refugees to get jobs, achieve education, and take English classes.

  Bowen was a member of the French club in college, and she just so happened to never leave the email list and she gets emails, and one of the emails was asking for a French speaker to help out a family that didn’t speak any English.

  “I just love helping others, I love teaching, and a little selfishly; I wanted to practice my French more,” Bowen said.

  Bowen specifically only works with one family. As a volunteer you can choose what kind of family you want to be a part of and Bowen volunteers with a French family from Africa, meeting them once a week for around two hours depending on the lesson.

  Bowen does cultural mentoring along with teaching the family English; like teaching them how to use the bus and how to fill out job applications. Sometimes Bowen will also help her younger refugees with their homework or will take the family out places like a baseball game.

  Bowen has been volunteering with this family for two years. She has been teaching more the parents rather than the children due to them being more fluent in English than their two parents. She has been teaching the mother more reading and writing, along with helping her know some phrases she can use on a daily.

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Lakeview teachers teach ESL students English and the American Way