English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL, Computer, and Job-Prep (Vocational ESL) Classes

Adult education continues to be unavailable within the City of Oakland and it is unlikely that the Oakland Unified School District will reinstate the adult programming that was lost in 2010. Within the Asian population, the Southeast Asian community has one of the lowest levels of English-language proficiency and economic standing.

Unemployment within the Bhutanese and Burmese refugee population, for example, is an alarming 65%-80% due to English literacy challenges. Historically, it has been one of the most underserved in the City of Oakland primarily because they did not have a good understanding of how to access available resources. Seniors and their families also have the greatest difficulty accessing resources and navigating through governmental entities to reach necessary benefits and services. The Vietnamese American Community Center has really stepped up to fill the void on English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adults. In the last year, we have added classes and built a progression of steps for students to gain English literacy and to move towards employment so they can become more financially stable.

VACCEB offers pre-ESL and ESL classes to the community at a very modest rate. These classes that teach students basic English speaking skills, job ready English skills, and on the more advanced levels how to read and write English. Every morning, Monday through Thursday, an ESL class is taught averaging 15-20 students per class.

Besides ESL classes VACCEB offers a computer literacy class in which students can learn how to use a computer, learn a word processing program, and get on the internet. Because of these classes, students are more prepared to find resources, access benefits, and use the internet to aid in their search for employment. Many of our students are refugees and immigrants.
This year we added a vocational ESL class to help refugees and immigrants get ready for the job market by helping them with their resumes, do mock interviews, and to show them how to perform job searches.