Student Spotlight: Chun

Chun is a Literacy Rochester student from China. He came to the United States in December of 2015. Because of his language barrier, Chun could not communicate with those around him and be more independent. Chun knew he needed to learn the English language. Chun attended the Rush Henrietta Central School District’s Adult Literacy Program for two years and graduated from their English remedial class. Due to his work hours, he could not continue the advanced courses. During those two years, Chun worked and studied hard.

“I am very eager to improve my English skills, and then I can find a better job and change my family’s life,” Chun indicated.

In 2018 a friend introduced Chun to Literacy Rochester, where he immediately became a student. Carol, a volunteer teacher, was paired with Chun, and under her guidance, he started to take English lessons at the Henrietta Public Library. During this period, Carol taught Chun how to interpret a book called America. When encountering words he couldn’t understand, Carol would interpret their meanings in a way Chun could easily comprehend. Carol also encouraged Chun to communicate with others, such as, by booking a study room. Soon they became good friends.

“Many times, she became worried that her words would make me feel uncomfortable. When she corrected me, she kept reminding me that it was to help me improve and not meant to make me feel bad,” Chun said.

After several months of studying during the fall of 2019, Chun wanted to change jobs and become a CNC Operator. Knowing this job required work experience and advanced English language skills, Chun enrolled in the Monroe Community College Precision Machine Certificate course. Chun found it hard to understand his lessons and asked Carol to assist. Carol took the extra steps to explain the lesson’s content word by word. Chun quickly mastered the learning methods to secure his CNC Operator job in February 2020 with a higher salary. Chung is satisfied with his new job with also sees the impact it has made on his life. 

“I have been working hard for my dream to make my accent as close to a native English speaker as possible,” Chun said.

During the Covid Pandemic, Chun and Carol continued working together remotely, which they still do today.

Carol and Chun have been working hard to reach Chun’s goals. They still meet weekly to review pronunciation and unfamiliar vocabulary. Chun is excited that he can now read newspaper articles and the WXXI website. Chun’s new job and confidence in speaking English were all made possible due to Carol’s patience.

“Many thanks to Literacy Rochester for the learning opportunities, and even more thanks to Carol for her selfless dedication.” – Chun, June 2023

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