Meet Fernanda

Meet Fernanda

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“My name is Fernanda Kanashiro; [my last name] is from Japanese origin, but I’m from Brazil. My family relatives were immigrants from Japan. I came here because of my husband, because he is [working post-doctorate] at the U of A. I used to work as a doctor—I was a pediatrician [in Brazil]. But now I’m just starting to study again. Some of my husband’s friends at the U of A told him about the Ozark Literacy Council. I came here just to figure out if I was able to practice and improve my English because it’s been a long time since I’ve studied at school. I was really amazed when I discovered that you have this place here; that it’s free for anybody that wants to learn English at different levels, so it’s really a great place to be. I’ve been here for about 3 weeks. I already had studied English in Brazil, but I didn’t have the chance to talk and to speak with different people; for that reason I think that my English was rusty and I couldn’t find the words sometimes. Since I’ve started here, I think it’s getting better every day, because you have to talk with students and everybody’s native language is different. One thing that we have in common is the English, so it’s really good to practice… If I can pass the TOEFL test, I can start to study again, maybe in another field. In my field, it’s difficult to validate my diploma; it takes some time. I don’t think I want to do it again, because I have so many other things I am interested in. I was really excited and really glad that I found this place because…you feel so welcomed, and people are very gentle. You have the chance to mingle with people from all over the world. It’s one of the most important things here, because we have the chance to exchange culture, to know what other people think. We have a separated world, so many fights, so much segregation. Here, everybody’s equal, everybody’s together, and everybody has the same goal, to study and improve in English. I know that so many lives are changing because they have this chance to learn English for free. I think it’s very beautiful work.”

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