The Senior immigrants and refugees who participate in the many programs offered by CLESE member agencies come from over 30 countries. Those who have enrolled in our Bright Ideas classes come from Bosnia, the Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, and China. Many are refugees from war torn countries. Others came to America seeking refuge from religious oppression.
Each must face many challenges, creating a new life for themselves in a new country, coping with loss of family and home, dealing with the trauma of war, and the problems we must all deal with: health, finances, security, and meaning in life.
Many, but not all, have family members in the United States. They tend to live in neighborhoods with others from their home country. Now, in the Bright Ideas classes, they are making friends with other students from all over the world.
Not the least of their problems is learning English.
As part of the Bright Ideas English Literacy-Civics program, we ask our students to talk about their lives before and after they came to America. We ask them to work together and with other classes to explore their neighborhoods and become familiar with how our society works. We emphasize oral communication, but the student also produce pictures and writings that describe what they are thinking.
In their own words…
Click below to read basic stories about
our students written in their own words.
Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly (CLESE)
53 West Jackson, Suite 1340
Chicago, IL 60604
312-461-0812 / 312-461-1466 (fax)