English at Work offers context-specific English language learning to employees in different industries across the United States, which they can apply to their jobs directly. However, for Yolande, the course provided so much more!
Yolande emigrated from Burkina Faso to the United States in 2013 and has been working at Whole Foods Market in Manhattan for 3 years now. Working at the bakery, Yolande’s job often requires her to communicate with co-workers as well as customers—one of the main reasons she decided to attend the English class in the first place.
Apart from acquiring new vocabulary and strengthening her grammar skills, Yolande claims the most important thing she gained from the course is more courage. “I’m not shy anymore! I feel like I can talk to everyone and be able to clearly communicate my thoughts.” Yolande is grateful for the support provided by her teacher and program staff who encouraged her every step of the way and ensured she was successful in class. Her experience both during and after the training ended motivated her to continue to study English, to keep building on what she already knows.
However, learning a new language was not the only thing Yolande took away from the class. Students from a variety of Whole Foods stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut participated in the course, which provided Yolande with the opportunity to meet new people. “I have friends in different locations now,” she says excitedly, something that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
“I finally learned how to use my computer too,” she laughs when asked about her experience with the online classes. “I’ve had it for a while, but I never bothered to figure out how to use it. During the class I had no excuse.” All of this made for a “great experience” and she now wholeheartedly recommends the course to co-workers who could use a boost in language skills.
Confident in her abilities now, Yolande has new aspirations at Whole Foods and has already applied for a new position. She’s thankful for this class, which has given her the chance to grow both personally and professionally.