November 2013 Student of the Month

We’re pleased to announce that our Student of the Month for November 2013 is Pei Ci Kuang. Amazingly, she attends four different classes: Class E2 with Evelyn, Movie Class with Janel, Computer Class with Brian, and Advanced Writing Class with June.

This is Pei Ci’s first year at University Settlement, but she’s already shown great progress. She recently attended parent-teacher conferences, and for the first time she was able to talk to her child’s teacher without an interpreter.

This fall Pei Ci also showed her improvement by reaching a higher level on the Best Plus test, which is an oral English test that all ESOL students in New York take. Way to go, Pei Ci!

Watch a video interview with Pei Ci above, read some of her writing below, then take the quiz to test your understanding!

My Autobiography

Pei Ci Kuang

Class E2

My name is Pei Ci Kuang. I am from China. I live in Manhattan. I live with my husband, daughter, and son. My family is sweet and harmonious. I have lived in New York for almost seven years.

I am a salesperson. I like my job because I can meet new people and it is a challenge. Every new season, I need to sell a lot of things to people, and when I sell out, I feel happy.

My family is small. I have two children. I like to watch TV and try new things and new food. I like New York because it has different cultures and different food.

But I need to take care of my children, cook for my family, and work. I don’t have much entertainment here. I really miss my sister and the food in my hometown.

I hope I can have a wonderful life: I can buy a house in New York, my daughter and son can go to a good school, I can get a great job, and I can earn a lot of money so my family’s life will be better and better.


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October 2013 Student of the Month

The Student of the Month for October 2013 is Yue Hong Lin. She’s in class 3A. She was nominated by her teacher this year, Elsie, and her teacher from last year, Regina. She has been in the United States for four years – and this past summer she got her U.S. citizenship! Congratulations, Yue Hong!

You can watch her being interviewed by Class OP in the above video, and you can read some of her writing below. When you finish, take the quiz to test your understanding!  

My Hometown

My hometown is located in Taishan, China. I like my hometown. It’s a nice place to live. You can visit a lot of famous places like the Silver Beach, temple, and see different views. It faces the sea. In the summer, we go to the beach and spend time there.

People in my hometown are very nice and kind. They help each other. Mid-Autumn Festival is a special day for family to reunite. People will come back home and celebrate it. People eat mooncakes and fruits and enjoy the moon.

I love my hometown. I enjoy the time there because the seafood and vegetables are very fresh. People in my hometown work hard and they are lovely!


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September 2013 Student of the Month

Our first University Settlement Adult Literacy Program Student of the Month for the 2013-2014 school year is Zhang Qiao Zhuang, also known as Grace Zhang. This is Grace’s third year in our program, and she has been selected as Student of the Month because she has achieved the following things:

1. Improved her English.

2. Gotten more involved in her children’s education.

3. Earned the National Work Readiness Credential.

4. Had her writing published in NYU Gallatin’s Literacy Review.

5. Earned her GED (General Equivalency Diploma).

Watch a video interview with her above, read a piece of her writing below, then take a quiz to test your comprehension.

Congratulations, Grace!

MoMA Mia

Grace Zhang

Last Friday, our writing class went on a trip to MoMA. I am not too excited about the arts, but since everything was arranged by our teacher, June, and her students, we took the time to relax and “smell the flowers.”

We met in the big and bright lobby. I observed two of my classmates were not there yet. I noticed I had one of their phone numbers, so I called immediately. Ally told me on the phone that she was seriously sick. I was too busy thinking about what to do next to ask about her sickness, and then I asked her for Liang’s phone number. I called Liang right after I got the number from Ally. Liang told me she was on the wrong train and would be late. I have recently

got to know Liang is quite a carefree person, but anyway, she is cute. I reported these situations to June. I don’t remember when I started to be this type of person; I never used to be so active.

We had a photo taken before the tour started. I couldn’t find my spot. I was scared about whether I was blocking someone. I was considering whether I would bend my knees or not. My knees naturally reflected what I was thinking, and they bent. As soon as the shot finished, I heard Ling Ling’s voice. With her hand lying on my shoulder, she said, like an older sister, “Why do you always hide somewhere; you should stand next to me!”

“Okay, I’ll do that next time,” I replied with a smile. I myself had considered this a second ago. I don’t quite know myself now. I choose to be a follower of my heart, wherever it goes.

The tour was wonderful. We were introduced to a few paintings of famous artists. I believe that my classmates who love art will write more about this, so I am going to move on to write about something else.

What I enjoyed most was the lunch in the museum. We were generously treated by NYU Gallatin. After learning so much about art in the exhibition rooms, everything became art in the dining room. June inspired us to talk about what we just saw. I asked myself, Is writing art? I was starting to compose pieces of writing in my brain already.  I burst out, “Art is in my heart, art is expressing yourself.” I would like to keep this feeling in my heart forever.

June told us she had to leave before us. I was going to shout, “You made my day!” However, I held it in because I wasn’t sure that this art of expressing from heart was grammatically correct.


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June Student of the Month: Stephanie Ho


June’s Student of the Month is W1 student, Stephanie Ho. Stephanie attends our Weekend Classes, her teacher is Lynne Hayden-Findlay.

Stephanie was chosen as our final Student of the Month for many reasons, she has had great attendance all year, is a hard worker and is a great contributor in class.

Congratulations Stephanie!

Below is an interview with Stephanie, she tells us about her experiences at University Settlement and offers some advice to fellow students and language learners.

What’s your name and where do you live?

My name is Stephanie Ho and I live in Brooklyn.

What classes are you in and who are your teachers?

I am in W1, my teacher’s name is Lynne. I am also in the computer class on Saturdays. My computer teacher is Brian.

What is one of your favorite things to do in the classes?

I always English class because it is a lot of fun and I learn a lot. I also like the computer class, Brian is a good teacher.

Do you practice English outside of school? How?

Yes, I talk with other people outside of class and watch movies, listen to music and read newspapers.

What kind of movies do you like to watch?

I like to watch Sci-Fi (Science Fiction) movies like Star Wars.


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May Student of the Month: Chang Wen Zheng


We’re pleased to announce our new Student of the Month, Class 1A student Chang Wen Zheng.

Watch a video below showing Chang Wen’s teacher Elsie presenting him with his Student of the Month certificate, read a short piece of writing Chang Wen wrote about his job skills, then take the quiz to test your listening and reading comprehension.

My Job Skills

by Chang Wen Zheng

I am a cook. I cook delicious food for customers daily. I have good experience in cooking. I cook lobsters and steaks wonderfully.

I clean the kitchen for one hour every day. Cleaning up the kitchen is an important part in the whole day’s work. I do not really like to clean the kitchen much. Why not? Because it is hard work!

I cut vegetables and meat every day. I can cut carrots into different shapes. If you are not careful, your hands get hurt very easily.


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April 2013 Student of the Month

April’s Student of the Month is Lois Geng. She is from W4 and her teacher is Lynne Hayden-Findlay. Lois is a great writer and one of her writings has been chosen to appear in the Literacy Review (you can read more about the Literacy Review here). Below, Lois tells us a little about herself and then shares some of her writing. Enjoy and keep working hard, the next Student of the Month could be you.

My name is Lois Geng. I was born in China and immigrated to the United State of America.  I have been in New York City for more than ten years.  I love New York because of its fantastic lifestyle and that it’s full of opportunities.  I like to challenge myself even though I have a happy life.  I want to continue to work hard improving my language skills in order to better integrate into American life.

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Water is the source of life. Water is the treasure of life.

In our lives, we cannot be separated from water. Water will always accompany us. During my childhood, I lived in my grandmother’s hometown which is in China’s Southern countryside. In front of the house, there is a big stream flowing down from the mountains. It is crystal clear and there is a lot of small fish hiding under the stones. We often went to catch the fish and played in the water. The water left me with the joy of childhood. But when I returned to my grandmother’s home a few years ago, I couldn’t recognize the stream I once knew. The stream is now a victim of pollution. It gave me a feeling of sadness.

Water is the best gift nature gives us. We should cherish it, protect it. If people do not cherish water resources, then the world’s last drop will be tears.

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March 2013 Student of the Month


The University Settlement Adult Literacy Program is pleased to announce the March 2013 Student of the Month: J.C. Ye. He was nominated by his Class 2B teacher Regina, who said:

I nominated J.C. as Student of the Month because he is a highly motivated and outgoing student. He participates a lot in class, encourages his fellow classmates to speak, and asks a lot of questions. In addition to my class, J.C. also attends the movie class with his fiancée, Debbie, and June Foley’s writing class. He told me his goals are to improve his English and to eventually go to university here in New York City.
Here’s a video interview we did with J.C.:
J.C. and Debbie
J.C. and Debbie

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