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English Language Learners Program Opening Doors at BTC

April 20, 2021

Brianna Deering (pictured) has been in the education field for over twenty-five years, beginning in elementary education and later transitioning to higher ed. She enjoys the opportunity to motivate students to learn and to achieve their educational and career goals.

Brianna seated at Central Campus in a black blazer and blue shirt

Her current role at Blackhawk Technical College is teaching English Language Learners. The ELL program requires Brianna to assist with recruiting, registering, testing, and placement of students, and instruction at all levels.

“Our program works to reach students, throughout our area, who want to learn English,” she explained. “We welcome students who are beginners through advanced, from many different cultural backgrounds. We currently have students from Albania, Mexico, Croatia, and Columbia.”

While the past year has been a challenging one for all of us, she is encouraged to see students coming back to campus. “The students I teach want to get better jobs and communicate with individuals in their community. They come to class each week while balancing work and family. Their desire to learn makes them such a pleasure to teach.”

Brianna has dedicated herself to these students in the classroom and in sharing best practices with other instructors. She has had the opportunity to present at local and national TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) conventions sharing her experience using project-based learning in environmental sustainability to encourage her students to write and speak about areas that interest them. She was also honored with a “Women in Leadership” award last spring from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Brianna appreciates that BTC allows people of all ages to further their education in a way that works with their schedule. Whether they are first-generation, returning students, language learners, or degree-seeking, BTC has a place for everyone. The flexible educational environment allows students to learn while working, raising a family, and/or accomplishing other life goals. Her most substantial advice for any student is “to set goals for yourself and create a vision on how to accomplish those goals. Find ways to get involved in your campus and community, and never be afraid to ask for help when you need it.”

When she’s not teaching, Brianna loves spending time with her family, including college students Olivia and Cole and 14-year-old twins Molly and Delaney. Now that the weather is warming up, they are enjoying lake-side walks in their hometown of Lake Geneva with dogs Josey and Ernie.

For more information about the BTC English Language Learners Program visit https://blackhawk.edu/Student-Resources/Academic-Support-Tutoring/English-Language-Learners.

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