One goal shared by many of the students at Mid-State Literacy Council is to increase confidence when conversing with native English speakers. Priyanka, a young woman from India, works in a local restaurant in downtown State College. Her job requires her to communicate directly with customers, but she would often avoid talking to them whenever she was able to. She isolated herself from her coworkers, as well, and says she was incredibly shy when she first came here. Now, after spending several months at Mid-State, Priyanka speaks confidently and comfortably with customers and coworkers, making her job much more enjoyable.
Initially, she worked one-on-one with a tutor, but then took classes in American Short Stories and Women’s Health. She says the group classes are nice because “you get to see other people’s mistakes, and then feel more comfortable.” She also expressed the helpfulness of Mid-State’s staff, saying, “Everyone is always ready to help. Everyone appreciates you. They are reliable and give good advice.”
Priyanka also enjoys the State College area, describing it as a “quiet place with nice, friendly people.” In addition to being able to communicate more comfortably, Priyanka now goes about her daily life more comfortably, as well. She often goes to CVS alone and says grocery shopping isn’t scary anymore. Mid-State has given Priyanka her independence back.
Many of the students at Mid-State Literacy Council refer to English as an international language. Prinkya likewise expressed the importance of it, saying, “No matter what country you go to, you can communicate with someone through English.” She wants those who are coming to Mid-State to “be patient. You will be able to speak English very fluently one day.”