Puerto Rico!

Two of our University Settlement Adult Literacy Program teachers recently took part in the Hunter College Study Abroad program in Puerto Rico. This unique program offered the opportunity to engage with education and educators in Puerto Rico, deepening the close ties between Puerto Rico and New York. They learned firsthand how the historical, social and political contexts of Puerto Rico impact English as a Foreign Language learners and educational systems, and worked side by side with local Puerto Rican English language teachers. This program gave them an opportunity to immerse themselves in critical inquiry about English language teaching in settings outside the US.  They visited eight schools, learned about bilingualism from Puerto Rican university professors, worked with students, judged an English contest, and conducted community service.

One teacher had this to say about her experience:

“This Education and Language Teaching in Puerto Rico program was an excellent study abroad course to learn about bilingual programs in Ponce schools. There were plenty of opportunities to observe and collaborate with English language teachers in K-adult classrooms as well as volunteer in community service projects. In just five days, we could plunge into Puerto Rico’s culture, learn to dance salsa, and study its resilient history.

Furthermore, we could experience beautiful colonial architecture with pastel-colored facades in Old San Juan and evocative murals around every corner in Ponce. We enjoyed the warmth of Caribbean breezes and splendor of tall coconut palms wherever we went. Besides this, we had scrumptious mofongo – fried plantains mashed with meat or seafood – and met many warm-hearted people. Most importantly, we acquired different perspectives towards teaching bilingual students.

I am so grateful and blessed to have attended this course. I am indebted to the generosity of the Adult Literacy Program at University Settlement and appreciate their support.”

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NYC Summer Hot Spots

It’s almost summer break! Are you wondering what you can do to enjoy this summer? The students of class 3C would like to share some of their favorite spots in New York that you could visit this summer!


Brooklyn Botanic Garden

“For the holidays, we go to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with our families. It is close to Prospect Park. It has a Japanese Garden, the Palm House, and colorful flowers. A major attraction is the Cherry Blossom Festival where 200 cherry trees are in full bloom. It’s like a pink ocean, very spectacular! Our children like to play in there. The garden is beautiful and full of different plants. There are  many people in the summer.” – May Ma and Miya Wu

Address:990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY ‎

How to Get There: 2, 3, 4, or 5 train to Franklin Ave. in Brooklyn


Coney Island

“Coney Island is a peninsula and beach on the Atlantic Ocean in southern Brooklyn. In the summer, many people like to go there to relax and go swimming on the weekends. The New York Aquarium in Coney Island is open almost every day of the year. So, I always go to Coney Island to play with my family.” – Sandra Liang and Bonnie Huang

Address: Surf Ave. and W 12th St., Brooklyn, NY

How to Get There: D, F, N, or Q train to Coney Island/Stillwell Ave. in Brooklyn


Central Park

“This is the biggest and most important park in the middle of Manhattan. There are a lot of ponds and lakes and the park is surrounded by buildings. It’s great to go there in any season. In the winter, you can go ice skating. There are some ice rinks there and, during the summer or spring, everything is green. I like to go there and lay on the grass to read a book or just to relax.” – Daniela Polidura and Jackie Huang

Address: 59th St., Manhattan, NY

How to Get There: A, B, C, D, or 1 train to Columbus Circle, or N, Q, or R train to 5th Ave./59th St.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Before you go to the museum, it is hard to imagine how wonderful the huge building is.  It gathers all of the East and West cultures. In the Chinese section, you can see a Su Zhou garden, statues of Buddha, curios, and jades.” – Kelly Zhao and Li Duan Chen

Address: 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY ‎

How to Get There: 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th St.


The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

The American Museum of Natural History is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. It is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. In the museum, you can visit some wonderful exhibitions halls. For example, the African Mammal Hall, with exciting dioramas of monkeys and elephants, the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, with its share of whales and fish, and the Fossil Hall. This amazing exhibition shows fossils of all kinds, like mammals and dinosaurs. You would feel amazed by the huge dinosaur fossil in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, the Museum’s main entrance. Wouldn’t you want to go there? – Bella Zhao and Khanh Au

Address: Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY

How to Get There: B or C train to 81st St./Museum of Natural History


Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of NY’s most popular and well-known landmarks. The impressive bridge spans the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan and stretches for a length of 5989 feet, about 1.8km. The span between the large towers measures 1595.5 feet. This made the Brooklyn Bridge the world’s largest suspension bridge. – Kiki Wang and Ji Peng Wang

Address: New York, NY

How to Get There: J or Z train to Chambers St., or 4, 5, or 6 train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall in Manhattan – or A or C train to High St. in Brooklyn

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Qian Hua’s Staycation

E0 teacher, Qian Hua visited some local sites in NYC, such as Times Square, the M&M store and Grand Central.  She tells us about her experience and shares some of her photos. Enjoy her story and pictures and then take the quiz to test your understanding. Thanks for sharing Qian Hua.

Staycation in New York City

I decided to spend the Christmas and New York break as a staycation and explore local holiday attractions with a close friend.  To my surprise, the Big Apple has a lot of impressive sites for a day trip.  We window shopped at Macy’s and took plenty of photos of the holiday display.  I found out I was a green M&M for the day in the Times Square M&M store; whereas, my friend was a brown one.

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