DEAR ABBY: I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor, and would like to respond to the letters about your column being used to teach English to foreign students.
Large numbers of immigrants in my area do not speak English. It's not an easy language to learn. I cringe when I see U.S. citizens walking in the mall sporting T-shirts that state, "Welcome to America: Now Learn Our Language!" Maybe these folks think they're cool, but they must realize that there are countless people in this country who would love to learn English. However, they need tutors.
There is much demand for ESL tutors -- for individuals willing to meet with some of these immigrants weekly to conduct a conversation class. Instead of being angry at our new citizens, valuable time could be spent teaching them.
Have any of those people sporting slogans on T-shirts ever tried answering the 100 questions one must study to take the citizenship test? Let me tell you, Abby, I have been stumped by a number of these questions -- while my ESL students could rattle off the answers.
If anyone reading this has the time to tutor, it can be a rewarding way to volunteer. Come learn how! The students are deeply appreciative. -- ESL TUTOR IN MIDDLESEX COUNTY, N.J.
DEAR ESL TUTOR: What a wonderful idea. Readers interested in becoming a tutor should contact the local school district, library or community center to see if there are programs in their area.