Jenn Hall

Edible Philly: Learning a New Language through Food at Philadelphia’s Free Library

SINCE 2014, THE FREE LIBRARY OF PHILADELPHIA’S Culinary Literacy Center has been a hotspot for innovative food education. Every month’s roster of classes is rooted in the center’s mission to advance literacy through food.

In some cases, that’s literal. Since 2015, the Edible Alphabet program has welcomed English language learners, including immigrants and refugees, to the library’s kitchen classroom for free six- to eight-week courses that blend culinary and language lessons. People from around the world prepare a shared meal, led by both English and cooking instructors. Along the way, they expand their reading, writing and speaking skills in a low-pressure setting where recipes become a key to unlocking language.

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Published in the Spring 2020 Issue

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