Eleanor “Ellie” Wen is the founder and manager of an innovative Web site that features hundreds of recorded texts and has become a vital tool for many worldwide who are seeking to improve their English. Ellie created the Web site titled RepeatAfterUs.com. Her website features more than 4,000 texts that range from Mother Goose to Hamlet to the Gettysburg Address. Audio clips accompany more than 500 selected texts and allow the site visitors to hear a range of material read aloud. She has dedicated hundreds of hours to finding material, recruiting readers, contacting literacy programs and maintaining the website.
While Ellie was running a poetry workshop and a tutoring program for children at Las Familias del Pueblo, she began to conceive RepeatAfterUs.com. The poetry workshop helps the local immigrant families, and she believed another program could give more assistance to those who were trying to master the English language. She saw first hand the importance of learning English and how mastering the language would positively impact the children’s futures. However, she felt that non-English speakers that lived in more isolated areas would have greater difficulty meeting with a tutor.
RepeatAfterUs.com utilizes the Internet to bring the English language and teaching material to many people in her city, in remote areas and far beyond. Since its inception, the site has had an excess of 20,000 visitors. Students, teachers, Peace Corps volunteers and literacy programs throughout the world have visited and praised the website. Individuals, organizations and embassies in countries from Egypt to Uruguay have sent messages of thanks and appreciation.
Ellie’s work to bring the English language to people in remote areas has impacted a myriad of individuals. At the most basic level, her site offers free, accessible educational tools to persons working to improve their mastery of the English language. It is a service to non-native speakers striving to integrate and participate more fully in American society. At a deeper level, the site’s material showcases the beauty of the English language and the richness of the American culture.
Ellie has used a technological tool of the future, the Internet, as an ambassador for the language, culture and spirit of our great nation. She is using the Internet to aid and educate people all over the world. Her dedication reaches out to the international community and creates connections that stretch across the continents. Ellie does all this while continuing to volunteer at Las Familias del Pueblo, fencing, acting, writing, singing and serving as her high school Junior Class President.