New: ESL Courses for Dari and Pashto Speakers Posted by meaghan on Mar 18, 2022 in For Learners, For Libraries, Learning Material Updates
One reason we love working with public libraries is their commitment to supporting their diverse communities.
So, when several subscribing libraries came to us last fall to request ESL materials for Afghan refugees resettling in their communities, we got to work.
Fast forward to today: we’re thrilled to announce the launch of new Beginner English courses for native speakers of both Dari and Pashto.
About the Courses
Both courses contain 130 vocabulary-focused lessons that introduce the real-world language refugees will need to navigate daily life in English. Topics range from basics like counting and days of the week to more situational vocabulary like meeting new people, visiting a doctor, or going shopping—in person and online!
Our Content Development Manager Michael Basmaji says these courses are particularly useful for English beginners:
“Studies show that vocabulary size is the single most significant factor in building language proficiency. Sometimes all you need to accomplish a task is one or two key words, like ‘bathroom’ or ‘doctor’. These courses provide English learners more than 1,000 key words that will help them get by and build a foundation upon which they can practice grammar, improve their speaking and listening skills, and beyond. It’s a huge leg up.”
The English vocabulary is paired with their native language for immediate recognition. Learners will then work their way through a series of fun activities that let them use all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and typing.
The lead Project Manager Kate Blais highlights why the flexible course structure makes it particularly useful for Afghan refugees or others who have an immediate need to build their English vocabulary:
“The lessons were not designed to be done in order; they exist independently. These English learners have immediate needs, so we wanted them to be able to jump around to the lessons and topics they need most. If someone is going to buy groceries for the first time in English, we want them to be able to get to food words and shopping phrases right away.”
The English for Dari and Pashto courses mark the 29th and 30th paired English courses in Transparent Language Online. In fact, English is the most requested language of the more than 110 available languages in the platform.
Kit Lardner from Blackburn with Darwen Library Service explains why these beginner English courses are so significant for newcomers to their community:
“Blackburn with Darwen Library Service works relentlessly to provide new and dynamic services for all of its communities and is keen to present new opportunities for learning and leisure to those who have newly arrived in our Borough. The library is a first port-of-call to many as we can provide so much help – including access to resources such as Transparent Language, which is invaluable in helping those whose native language is not English to break down language barriers to access pubic services in our community. We have recently been showcasing Transparent Language with ESOL classes with much success and have seen how this can provide wider wellbeing benefits. Providing language resources plays a big part in building harmonious communities for all those who have recently joined us.
These English courses for Dari and Pashto speakers are important because the Afghan refugees who have resettled in our community did so without much warning or planning. This resource, along with other council-wide services can really transform their ability to thrive in their new home, support inclusion and unlock new opportunities to enable community contribution.”
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.