Student-run nonprofit teaches ‘English for the Elderly’

Local volunteers with the San Diego branch of Alliance of Youth Leaders.

From June to August, the Alliance of Youth Leaders in the United States (AYLUS), a student-run nonprofit volunteer organization with students from the Bishop’s School, Canyon Crest Academy, Cathedral Catholic High School, and Torrey Pines High School, organized 16 “English for the Elderly” events to teach English to new immigrants.

The high school volunteers teach the basics of English to elderly Chinese immigrants, in hopes that these men and women will one day be able to complete day-to-day activities such as going to the grocery store without having to be accompanied by a family member or a close friend. This event was started not to solely benefit the elderly men and women, but also with the goal of training the high school volunteers to serve the community with leadership and dedication..

Every “English for the Elderly” class begins with a review of the contents of previous classes, followed by the introduction of five new common everyday sentences that surround a specific topic that the volunteers have picked days in advance. The class then concludes with the volunteers tutoring the “students” one on one, therefore being able to individually address each of their weaknesses and skill levels. The students take turns to teach. As a result, volunteers were able to teach these elderly men and women over 90 everyday sentences, effectively allowing them to go grocery shopping or ask for directions on their own.

During the last class of the summer, the elderly men and women worked together to write a thank you card for AYLUS San Diego in English, showing their thanks to all the efforts made to teach them English and making America truly a second home to them. Over the summer, AYLUS student volunteers Jonathan Backues, Liana Xie, Eric Lin, Ernest Lin, Raymond Li, Derek Ma, NingXin Sun, Yufei Zhang, Chengming Li, Chengda Li, Spencer Zhang, Andrew Lin, Michael Wang, Jerry Wang, Sean Yuan, Andrew Chen and Luke Qiao made “English for the Elderly” possible. With the start of school coming soon, AYLUS San Diego hopes to host a class every weekend and expand this activity to many other areas. They welcome those with similar needs to reach out to them to see what can be done.

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