Friday, January 28, 2022
WCC Students Share Stories Of Christmas In Their Native Countries

WCC Students Share Stories Of Christmas In Their Native Countries

Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition (ELA) students wrote and spoke about the Christmas traditions in their native countries.

Nearly four dozen students contributed essays to a “Christmas Around the World” book that covers stories about the holiday in 16 foreign counties and the United States of America. Four program teachers and staff members also wrote pieces for the book.

Three of the students, Dorita Escalante, a native of Guatemala; Karen Carcamo, a native of Honduras; and Gisela Zavala, a native of El Salvador; along with ELA Coordinator Maria Abalo-Zarate, a native of Argentina, shared their stories with a class at Meadow Lane Elementary School.

Zavala is a beginning level student and Escalante is an advanced student in the program on the college’s campus in Goldsboro. Carcamo takes advanced ELA classes through the program’s location on the University of Mount Olive campus.

They presented copies of the book to the students in Jennifer Heim’s multiage second grade class and the school’s library. Heim’s class had been learning about Christmas traditions around the world the week of the ELA students’ visit.

Abalo-Zarate said she was very proud of the students who wrote for the book and those who presented to the class.

“Speaking in another language in front of other people is not easy,” she said. “These students want very much to be able to communicate with others in their new home.”

The book is part of an effort to educate others about different cultures and celebrate both similarities and differences. “We work very hard to help people understand we are all equal, whatever language we speak,” Abalo-Zarate said.

“Our students have taken this opportunity to share this most intimate memories of celebrating Christmas,” the introduction of the book says. “Every person has a story that includes customs and traditions that make them unique.”

The Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition program assists speakers of other languages with improving English reading, writing, and speaking skills as well as learning about American culture and enhancing employability skills. The classes are taught on campus and at off-campus sites. The program is a component of the Transitional Programs for College and Career. For more information about the program, call 919-739-6911 or go to www.waynecc.edu/continuing-ed/programs/tpcc/.

Posing with the Meadow Lane Elementary School dragon mascot are Dorita Escalante, Maria Abalo-Zarate (left to right, front), Gisela Zavala, Karen Carcamo, and Lynn Rabhan (back). Abalo-Zarate is the Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition Program coordinator and Rabhan is the college’s director of Transitional Programs for College and Career. The rest are students in the WCC English Language Acquisition Program.
Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition Student Dorita Escalante tells Meadow Lane Elementary School second grade students about Christmas celebrations in her native country.
Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition Gisela Zavala reads the section she wrote for the “Christmas Around the World” book.
Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition Student Karen Carcamo points to her native country of Honduras during a presentation to students at Meadow Lane Elementary School.
Wayne Community College English Language Acquisition Coordinator Maria Abalo-Zarate shows Meadow Lane Elementary School students the “Christmas Around the World” book her students wrote.
A Meadow Lane Elementary School student starts reading the “Christmas Around the World” book she was given by members of the Wayne Community College English as a Second Language students.
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