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Our Town Lexington: English Learning

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:25 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Central Community College is improving the lives of some Lexington residents through adult education and English language learning classes.

Saeeda Khatir came to America by herself all the way from Sudan. She’s made a home in Lexington. “I come from Sudan because I need to study English, I needed to work, and I need to make my life better,” Khatir said. Thanks to her education at the Lexington Center of Central Community College, she’s finding more opportunities. “In Africa, it’s very hard to find a job, and very hard to go to school,” Khatir said. Khatir started working at Tyson when she came to Lexington. Thanks to her improving English language skills, she’s now working at Wal-Mart. “And now I can communicate with people, and I understand what they want,” Khatir said.

Many adults are improving their lives thanks to the adult education classes found at Central Community College in Lexington. “Currently in our adult education program in Lexington we have just over 200 enrollments since July, and our students are from 14 different countries,” Lexington’s Central Community College Adult Education Coordinator Angela Elfgren said. “We have students that are speaking six different languages.” Courses at Central Community College are helping adults learn English skills, and earn a GED. “Probably about 65% of our students are working at Tyson, so we try to accommodate them and their working schedule, so they are able to come in and get the educational needs they are desiring.” Amy Hill, who is the Regional Director of the Lexington Center with Central Community College says the students gain independence with the course work. “What we notice with the students we have is, as they continue in the program and their skills develop, they become more independent. It gives them a lot of confidence,” Hill said.

Dalila Earl is an instructor at the college, and teaches English language learners. She has a special place in her heart for the students. “I have always worked with international students, because I myself am one. I was born in Brazil,” Earl said. She says the skills these students learn are invaluable. “Many want to be nurses, they want to go into business, they want to go to school,” Earl said. “And some, they just want to learn the language and improve upon what they have already.”

The adult education classes are just a part of what Central Community College at Lexington offers. “We have health care programming available, we have nursing assistant and medication aid programs. We have CPR training, we will also soon be starting an EMT course this fall,” Hill said. “The school also offers telecommunication capabilities, early college programming and a new Mechatronics lab. “We provide training and support for area industry,” Hill said.

Perhaps one of the more gratifying training programs offered at the Lexington Center involves teaching adults English. “I am happy now, I feel great, because I improved my English a little bit,” Khatir said. “For me, I love it,” Earl said. “I have fun, I learn from (the students), and they learn from me, it’s cliche, but I actually do. I enjoy it, I would not trade this for anything.”

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