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Literacy Volunteer Finds Work 'Gratifying'

For Arley Gray, the French language was an escape of sorts, a window to the world beyond the borders of the small Oklahoma town where he grew up. And Gray was right- his mastery of the language eventually led him to the other side of the world. What he didn't expect was that it would lead him to a greater love of his native tongue and a career in helping non-English speakers learn his native language.
For Arley Gray, the French language was an escape of sorts, a window to the world beyond the borders of the small Oklahoma town where he grew up. And Gray was right- his mastery of the language eventually led him to the other side of the world. What he didn't expect was that it would lead him to a greater love of his native tongue and a career in helping non-English speakers learn his native language.

After graduation, Gray enrolled at Oklahoma State University, where he earned a degree in French. Recently aware that there were French-speaking countries in West Africa, he applied to the Peace Corp, believing it would help him better understand the French language.

Instead, in 1970, he was sent to Togo where he was trained to teach English. It was during the two years he spent in Togo that his plans changed. When he returned to the U.S., Gray enrolled at the Columbia Teachers College, earning a master's degree in linguistics and English as a Second Language and spent the next 10 years teaching, primarily at various community colleges.

During this time he was meeting the people who wrote the teaching materials he used in his classes. This led to freelance work on those same materials, then a job as an editor of ESL materials. Since 1979 Gray worked full-time in publishing and currently works as a senior acquisitions editor and editorial director with McGraw-Hill Publishing.

This article, written by Ryan Foust, appeared in the October 19th, 2005 publication of News Time Live.

Published Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005

Literacy Volunteer Finds Work 'Gratifying'

For Arley Gray, the French language was an escape of sorts, a window to the world beyond the borders of the small Oklahoma town where he grew up. And Gray was right- his mastery of the language eventually led him to the other side of the world. What he didn't expect was that it would lead him to a greater love of his native tongue and a career in helping non-English speakers learn his native language.

After graduation, Gray enrolled at Oklahoma State University, where he earned a degree in French. Recently aware that there were French-speaking countries in West Africa, he applied to the Peace Corp, believing it would help him better understand the French language.

Instead, in 1970, he was sent to Togo where he was trained to teach English. It was during the two years he spent in Togo that his plans changed. When he returned to the U.S., Gray enrolled at the Columbia Teachers College, earning a master's degree in linguistics and English as a Second Language and spent the next 10 years teaching, primarily at various community colleges.

During this time he was meeting the people who wrote the teaching materials he used in his classes. This led to freelance work on those same materials, then a job as an editor of ESL materials. Since 1979 Gray worked full-time in publishing and currently works as a senior acquisitions editor and editorial director with McGraw-Hill Publishing.

This article, written by Ryan Foust, appeared in the October 19th, 2005 publication of News Time Live.

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