BCC Voices from Around the Globe

Berkeley City College’s ESOL 50 class (taught by Beth Wadell) and KGPC collaborated to bring you stories, experiences, and perspectives that represent the diversity of our ESOL program.

1. Tips on living

In this segment, Torano, Eunmin, Risa, Yang, and Guide offer advice and suggestions for a variety of situations, ranging from managing time to preparing from natural disasters, managing your time, and even telling your child you won’t take her to the zoo.

Torano Ichikawa: Be prepared (0:00)

Eunmin Park: My Biggest Enemy (3:00)

Risa Suzuki: How to Reject Something (5:52)

Yang Wang: Truth is Sometimes Far From Truth (8:16)

Danaipol (Guide) Wattanaromchut: The Day I’ve Never Forgotten (10:30)

2. Lessons learned

In tales ranging from the airport to the world of fencing, Shinji, Mas, and Sam teach us some lessons from their experiences. Shinji inspires us to dream big, Mas advises us about passing through customs, and Sam reminds us that winning isn’t everything.

Shinji Morita: Your True Dream (0:00)

Bolun (Mas) Xu: How to Avoid the Secondary Room (2:25)

Sangmock (Sam) Lee: Be a Cool Loser (4:13)

3. Uncomfortable situations

What do you do when you don’t know what to do or say? Yuko, Hayden, Dong, and Yuki tackle that question from four different angles as they talk about relationships between strangers, parents and children, employers and employees, and cancer patients.

Yuko Yamasaki: Excuse Me (0:00)

Dong Yang: Selling on the Mango Farm (3:13)

Gang (Hayden) Zhang: My Father (6:32)

Yukihiro Fushima: Helping Families Cope (9:45)

4. The unpredictability of life

Life takes some unexpected turns. Yumi, Claire, and Angie share some of them in stories that take us from Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta to a pet clinic in Berkeley. Together, they ponder the meaning of these experiences.

Yumi Kinase Rudner: The Third Time’s the Charm (0:00)

Xiangyue (Claire) Zhang: What I learned from my volunteer job (3:30)

Sadaf (Angie) Fatehi: A Crazy Old Lady (5:37)

5. Fear? What fear?

Is fear holding you back? Gigi, Sirius, and Houra explore fear and how to overcome it.

Gigi Yoslui: What Would You Like to Be? (0:00)

Lingjun (Sirius) Zhou: Fear (3:31)

Houra Golsorkhi: Dream High (6:30)

6. Education in a new country

What is it like to study in a new country? What do you do if you can’t speak the language?  This segment explores these questions through the stories of Xiomy, who moved from Peru to Japan as a young child; Alex, who came to the US from El Salvador as a teenager; Tumur, who made the decision to study abroad; and Russ, who left Turkey to study in Poland.

Xiomara Mendez de la Cruz: Your Effort Will Be Rewarded (0:00)

Alex Zavala: Returning to School (3:20)

Tumur Bazarragchaa: What is your Greatest Weakness? (6:35)

Rasit (Russ) Ilhan: Traveling and Studying are not Mutually Exclusive (8:54)

7. That wasn’t so bad!

Sometimes the worst experiences can yield unexpectedly good results. Chaewon and Kevin share how a broken water pipe and required army service turned out not to be the disasters they expected.

Chaewon Park: Open Your Mind (0:00)

Yeonsik (Kevin) Ryu: Positive Thoughts (1:58)

8. Resistance!

When does a crowd of individuals become “the people”? Farhad explores that moment at Iran’s 2009 Green Movement protests, and discovers his best self through the experience.

Farhad Moradi: 5:00 in the Afternoon (0:00)

9. Overcoming Middle School

Middle school is always hard, but it got even harder for Cristina when she moved to a new country and was told by teachers and classmates that she wasn’t good enough. In this segment, she shares how she defied them and found success.


Cristina Candido: Believe in Yourself (0:00)