For Immediate Release

Contact: Deborah Gilleran

Georgian Court Student Uses Language Skills to Teach English to Immigrants

Next Session of Free English Language Classes Begins January 12

Lakewood, N.J., Dec. 10, 2008—Ask Amanda Brown to help out, and you’re probably going to get more than you bargained for. After she was asked to help Spanish-speaking adults to review English for their citizenship classes, she volunteered to help with the English as a Second Language (ESL) classes that are held for community members on the Georgian Court campus. Ms. Brown speaks English and can speak, read, and write Spanish.

It’s not like Ms. Brown, a 19-year-old junior majoring in criminal justice and psychology, is lacking enough things to do, however. President of the Class of 2010 and an active member of the campus group Women in Leadership Development, Ms. Brown has traveled abroad and been instrumental in organizing campus marches to bring attention to the plight of the missing women of Juarez, Mexico. However, she feels a calling to help community members prepare to become citizens.

“I think it is crucial that, as a community, we help our newest immigrants to learn English,” she says. “They have so much to offer, but we miss out on a lot of what they have to say if we are unable to communicate because of a language barrier. We often expect immigrants to learn our language, and I believe if we're going to make that a requirement, as a nation we need to provide adequate means and opportunities for individuals to learn the language. That means that individuals must be willing to set aside time and energy to help others learn. They're more than willing to learn, but the system has to work both ways.”

Ms. Brown volunteers on a regular basis. In addition to believing in the cause—she is a strong proponent of the contributions that naturalized citizens can make to the United States—she also believes this will help her long-term goals of researching the link between crime and psychology internationally.

Classes meet four times per week in Hamilton Hall on the Lakewood campus of Georgian Court University. The next ESL session at GCU begins January 12, 2009. These classes are free and sponsored by the Ocean County Education Consortium. For more information, please contact ESL instructor Sister Peggy Nulty at

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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