Intercambio: Uniting Communities
Intercambio is a national organization based out of Boulder Colorado with a powerful vision: communities where all people communicate, connect, and succeed. Their mission is to improve immigrant lives through English education, and unite communities across cultures.
To that end, they provide a wide variety of tools for adult ESL programs, including affordable textbooks and teaching resources, teacher training webinars, immigrant guides, and program support for new and existing programs.
Intercambio also provides a wide variety of free resources that can be accessed on the Teacher and Program Tools page on their website. Resources include a list of Teacher Strategies, a Teachers’ Tips blog, and a list of online resources that provide information on a variety of topics that are important to new Americans, including Laws and the Role of Police, Health and Medical, and the Education System. All of these resources and additional information about their program can be found on their website at https://intercambio.org/curriculum-and-resources/admin-teacher-tools/
Suggestions for building community from the Intercambio website:
Here are a few great ways to build community between immigrants and non-immigrants, wherever you are!
- Smile. It’s simple but effective.
- If someone is struggling with English, speak slowly, clearly, and avoid complex metaphors and idioms. Learning a new language is difficult! If you’ve never done it, try it and you’ll empathize.
- Learn more about immigrant experiences and why people come here. For many it’s to escape unsafe countries or provide better education for their children. Many face the heartbreaking inability to visit a dying mother, father, or sibling in their native country. Imagine that.
- Get to know immigrants on a meaningful level by volunteering to teach English with organizations like Intercambio, or others that enable you to connect directly across cultures. These programs that unite communities are models for the world when it comes to positive human relations.