Vodafone Helps Build Bridges With Free English Language Classes

19 January 2011: Language Bridges, an initiative under the umbrella of Vodafone's World of Difference program which provides free basic English literacy courses to expat workers, has launched its program of courses for Spring 2011.

Language Bridges kicked off its first season in October, with five organizations hosting the program for their employees. The classes, held in labor camps and site offices, are taught by a team of young, enthusiastic volunteers from several Qatar universities including Carnegie Mellon University.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Dr. Silvia Pessoa and a fantastic team of more than 20 volunteer teachers from Carnegie Mellon and Weill Cornell Medical College plus others working behind the scenes creating learning materials, handling logistics and working on the Language Bridges blog and Facebook pages," says Julie Zawadzki of Faj International, Language Bridges Program Director.

"Language Bridges has been a very rewarding experience for both Carnegie Mellon students and the learners involved in the program, said Dr. Silvia Pessoa of Carnegie Mellon University, coach and mentor to the student volunteers. "Beyond teaching and learning English, the program has given the student teachers and the learners a great opportunity to closely interact and learn from each other".

Language Bridges programs are currently hosted by Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS), United Development Corporation (UDC), Construction Development Company (CDC), and Al Jaber Trading and Contracting Company. The program is supported by IAM who offer their expertise in developing opportunities to increase the number of learners.

Language Bridges is proving to be a great learning opportunity for the teachers as much as for those attending the courses.

Reflecting on her experience Mashael, a 2nd-year Business Studies student from Qatar said: "The opportunity to teach in this literacy program was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The fact that learning English was so precious to the students was amazing and made me cherish what I have."

"Vodafone Qatar is proudly supporting Language Bridges," explains Luisa Gentile, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Vodafone. "In alignment with Qatar's National Vision 2030, we are glad to sustain an initiative which provides such exciting and challenging development opportunities for the volunteer teachers while making a world of difference to the students."

To learn more about Language Bridges, visit Julie Zawadzki's blog at http://languagebridges.wordpress.com




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