In keeping with the Catholic Charities' mission, Hogar Immigrant Services (formerly Hogar Hispano) began offering English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes in 1984. The primary goal of this program is to offer immigrants a basic knowledge of English so that they can:
- Improve their ability to advocate for themselves
- Enhance their education and employment opportunities to better provide for their families
- Pass the Citizenship Exam -- which requires proficiency in English
- Become less isolated and able to participate in the larger community.
The program offers instruction focused on the development of practical daily living skills. Emphasis is placed on survival English competency in the four major skill areas: speaking, listening comprehension, reading, and writing. We offer four levels of instruction to accommodate all our students.
Today, Hogar offers English classes at locations in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County. In addition, Hogar provides Citizenship preparation classes in Falls Church, Sterling, Woodbridge, and Vienna. All sites are located in local churches or schools.
* No documentation is required at registration. We welcome all adults, regardless of ethnicity, religion, nationality, or ability to pay.
Hogar is currently offering English classes in the following nine (9) locations.
|- Dale City||- Manassas|
|- Fairfax||- Sterling|
|- Falls Church||- Vienna|
|- Herndon||- Woodbridge|
Thinking of opening a teaching site? Partner with Hogar Immigrant Services to make sure that your site is the best it can be.
To get started, please answer the following questions and send your responses to Brooke Hammond Perez.
Things to consider when considering opening a site at your parish:
- Is the parish located in an area with a large immigrant population?
- Does the parish offer mass in another language, such as Spanish?
- Is the parish accessible via public transportation
- What is the nearest diocesan or parish class site?
- Are there other providers of English classes in the area?
- Does the parish have volunteers who are interested in teaching?
- Is someone willing to step up to the role of "Site Coordinator"?
- Is there sufficient suitable classroom space?
- Is the pastor aware/supportive of this effort?
Verifying need for services
- Have immigrant parishioners been surveyed?
- Does the immigrant community identify with the need?
- Does the parish currently offer other services to immigrants?
- Spanish-language religious ed?
- Other sacraments in Spanish, e.g., first communion, confirmation, marriage prep?
- Cultural celebrations?
- Emergency assistance?
- What other connections exist to the local immigrant community?
- Types of classes (e.g., beginner/intermediate/advanced is standard, but what about “basic literacy” for those who can’t read and write or citizenship prep for those wanting to become citizens?)
- Number and size of class(es)
- Number and length of semester(s)
- Adequate training for volunteers (both prior to launch and then ongoing)
- Time to “ramp up” (i.e., it may take a while for people to know you’re there)
- Are you ready for success (i.e., how big are you prepared to grow)?
The Information for Personal Empowerment Speaker Series is designed to introduce students to the resources and information they need to live healthy and productive lives in the United States. Presentations are given on Thursdays throughout the semester at times that do not interfere with classes.
To see an example of the type of presentations given, check out the Spring 2013 IPE Brochure.
Want to get involved? For more information, or to become a speaker in the series, please contact Ben Brokaw at 703-534-9805 x 237.
here to see the Winter 2014schedule of Citizenship classes. Learn more about Hogar Immigrant Services' Citizenship Classes and what is on the Naturalization Exam by going to the Naturalization page.
Still have questions about volunteering as a teacher or site coordinator? Check out the answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.