The ESL Programs Venture Out!

The ESL Programs Venture Out!


Tolton Center’s ESL/Family Literacy Program often extends beyond the walls of a classroom. Tolton staff believe that a vital part of education is taking what we’ve learned in the classroom and putting it to the test in the “real world.” Adult ESL classes study public transportation, including important vocabulary and phrases, how to read maps and use google maps to plan routes, and understanding fare charts. Students have opportunities throughout the year to take trips to various locations on CTA buses and trains to put their knowledge to the test!

A few weeks back, ESL families rode the Pink Line from Pilsen to Harold Washington Library for the annual Book-a-mania event. Families from our program at Tepeyac Head Start took the bus to the Aquarium back in October.  This week, students had the opportunity to take the bus or the train to the Loop. Families checked out the windows decorated for Christmas at Macy’s, visited the tree in Macy’s and walked over to Daley Plaza for the Christkindlmarket.

Often when students first come to Tolton ESL programs, they share how fearful they are to ride public transportation, not understanding the costs, the process of buying a farecard or the routes of the buses and trains. By offering them an opportunity to venture out as group, students feel comfortable trying out public transportation.

Once they see how easy it is, they report going back to various locations with their families! We, the Tolton staff, are so thrilled and celebrate every time someone shares their experience of venturing out! We encourage families to take advantage of all the wonderful events and learning opportunities that this great city provides.

To you, our readers, thank you so much for your continued interest in and support of Tolton Center! You have made these trips possible. Our staff and students cannot thank you enough!


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