The English Center

The bicycle event in 2011

By Jian Di Liang

Being in the United States for two and a half years, my happiest time was the period studying at the English Center – a non-profit organization that helps new immigrants, refugees, and international students improve English skills and find jobs.

To me, the Center was like a small society. I met people from all over the world and made friends with them. We not only studied about the American culture, but learned from each other as well. We were not afraid to make any grammar mistakes or use any body language because we understood what we were trying to say to each other.

The classes are very intensive and students have 4.5-hour classes per day. Class schedules are flexible in the morning, afternoon and evening. Having classes with the same people every day builds up much more conversant friendships. The teachers are really helpful and patient. We feel comfortable making friends with them, and we go out with them as well.  We have class field trips once in a while. If students need help, there is one-on-one tutoring after class.

217030_10150174519306509_705676_nSince I was new to the country, I did not have any working experiences. The Center introduced me to the Port of Oakland and got me a volunteer opportunity there. The volunteering experience helped me so much later in my career.

I was also an intern for the development department. We organized social activities such as picnics for students, alumni, staff,  friends and families. We had so much fun playing games together.

The Center helps students finding  jobs successfully. We all moved along after graduating from the English Center, either to work, go to college or do both.

I really appreciate the help from the English Center. I could not be any happier with my opportunity to study there.

Author Profile

Jian Di Liang (Charlotte) is from China. She is enthusiastic, friendly and outgoing. Meeting new people and traveling are her biggest interests.


  1. It was a real a pleasure to help you learn to write. I remember your presentation on a famous Chinese author. I knew you had a spark for new ideas and a brave heart. The details you present in this article remind me of the real prize of education– to be fearless. May it always be so! –Ms. Tolman

  2. Hello, Charlotte,

    The English Center is lucky to have highly motivated newcomers like you in class! A great school attracts students who challenge their instructors and fellow students to set high standards and work to their full capacity.

    It has been a pleasure to see you grab all the experiences the Center has made possible and push towards your goals!

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