Adult Education News

Introducing New Resource for English Language Learners

According to U.S. Census Reports nearly 39 million immigrants have come into the US since 1965. The same source estimates by 2060, 19% of the U.S. population will be foreign-born. One sixth of the American workforce are immigrants.

English is the most common language spoken by nearly 80% of Americans. Learning English is one of the most significant challenges for many non-native residents in the U.S. It takes about 350 hours of instruction to reach language proficiency according to Johan Uvin, a former U.S. Department of Education official. Most learners spend less than half that number of hours according to Uvin.

Even though most official U.S. legal documents are written in English and immigrants who attempt to become U.S. citizens must pass an English test, America does not have an official formal language program to meet the needs of immigrant language learners. Most immigrant English language learners are served by adult education programs, but these programs are only able to serve about 4% of the need according to the Migration Policy Institute. Local classes often have waiting lists or must turn people away.

Work and language are closely connected. According to National Skills Coalition senior fellow, Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, every bit of English an immigrant worker can learn increases chances for job opportunities and better pay. Learning English also helps immigrants better assimilate into the communities where they live. KET is keenly aware of the need for quality, affordable, adaptable English language learning resources and is proud to announce a new partnership with Engen, a reputable provider of digital language learning programming. Engen’s courseware teaches English skills within career-aligned content from numerous pathways and is accessible anywhere, anytime. Visit KET’s Engen page to learn more! FREE webinars are available for adult education professionals to learn more about the KET resources. Ask us for a link to archived sessions or contact us to schedule a personalized virtual exploration! Email Rick Sellnow at rsnellnow@ket.org.