Companies in Dane County now have a new recruitment tool – English classes. 

Ena Langendijk and Bex Fabrizio, instructors with the Literacy Network in Dane County spoke to the Waunakee Rotary Club March 2 about their partnerships with area employers and communities to teach English.

Angie Roja Agudelo, the Waunakee school district’s interpreter, introduced Bex and Ena, noting that a partnership may be possible for English Classes at the Waunakee Public Library. 

Bex oversees group class programming for the Literacy Network and teaches. The Community English Programs are taught at community centers and libraries, with about 25 students per class. The library or a sponsor pays for half of the cost, and literacy grants pay the other half. The hope is to schedule a class at the Waunakee Public Library for either the summer or the fall.

The instructors, who are certified, teach basic to high intermediate level. A basic English class includes adult students learning to spell their name in English, along with the alphabet, and may begin with conversational survival English, so the students can achieve their goals of communicating with others in the community. 

The instructors also ask what the students’ goals are, if they include higher education. They then try to provide the language skills to help them achieve those goals and promote lifelong learning.

A survey of the students showed 98 percent felt their language skills and level of confidence speaking English increased after the class, Bex said. 

About 300 students per year take the community English classes. 

The Literacy Network also teaches workplace English. Businesses pay the cost, and the curriculum focuses specifically on teaching how to communicate in the work environment. The classes take place during the work day at no cost to the employees. 

Dane Manufacturing has begun to offer a class as a benefit to its employees, Angie said, and has found the program to be successful in recruiting employees.

While the company had translation services available, that didn’t get to the root of what their employees wanted – to learn to communicate on their own, Bex said. 




Other News:

-The club will be filling goodie bags and eggs at the Village Center March 30 just prior to the April 1 Easter Bunny visit. Donations of candy or other goodies can be dropped off at the Village Center though March 29.

-Next week’s fellowship will be at El Charro during happy hour Thursday. 

-Plans are in the works to start golfing after the meetings again. Talk to Pat Durden or Phil Willems. 


Guests: Anne Blackburn and Lisa Jondle, guests of Randy Guttenberg; Janette Jordee, guest of Joe Baer. 


Visiting Rotarians: None. 


Birthdays: None.


Anniversaries: None.


Greeters: March 9, Jim Kattner and Kevin Kearney; March 16, Bill Kennedy and David Kennedy; March 23, Tom Kennedy and Crispin Kenney.