ECTACO Info | C. Newton Weaver Jr.: English program helped wife achieve U.S. citizenship
by C. Newton Weaver Jr.
Imagine coming to America to live and work, knowing little about the language or how laws and regulations are made, much less the importance of certain events in its cultural history -- formidable roadblocks until one achieves skill in both written and spoken English. Fortunately, there is an affordable program that helps ease those obstacles.
One such program, English as a Second Language, allows participant to gain exposure to the spoken word as well as briefings in civics and American history. This knowledge will help to open doors of opportunity for a more fulfilling life. This course may also lead to naturalization and eventual admittance to higher educational institutions. According to Mark Ferraro, director of Worcester County's EASL program in Snow Hill, this platform has been offered to area residents for many years.
Night classes for the beginner or advanced are offered at Stephen Decatur High School. Daytime courses are conducted, thanks to Pastor Alex Ayres, in the worship study hall of the First Presbyterian Church on 13th Street and Philadelphia Avenue in Ocean City.
Both locations are staffed by experienced and devoted teachers, instructors and tutors who have helped numerous students. Testing supervisor Chris Bonsteel evaluates exams and points out those who need further instruction and promotes those who reach a certain level of understanding.
My wife Ekaterina Saduyan, who hails from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, recently passed her written and oral citizenship examinations in Baltimore. Pledging allegiance to the flag and swearing to support and defend the U.S. Constitution, she became a citizen in a civil ceremony. She owes her success to the wonderful teachers who helped her through the many levels of EASL. She continues to attend classes.