Workforce Collaborations Build A System of Supports for Immigrants: Examples from Networks for Integrating New Americans Initiative - Fact Sheet from World Education
Collaborations With Libraries Offer New Learning Opportunities for Immigrants: Examples from NINA Intiative - Fact Sheet from World Education
For more information about Networks for Integrating New Americans Initiative, visit World Education here.
“Now I understand a lot more because we all speak English…One success for me is that when the school principal tells me something about my children, I understand and don’t need a translator.”
–Deni Barrios, Former ESOL student
Many Limited English Proficiency parents would like to become involved in their children’s education, but cannot because of language barriers. In one study, a majority of LEP parents made initial attempts to communicate with their children’s school but were unable to overcome the language barrier. The availability of ESOL classes for parents can help bridge the communication gap and remove major obstacles to parents’ involvement in their children’s education. Read more about this issue and what ENB is doing to connect parents and schools.
“One of the biggest barriers for many immigrants who want to become citizens is their proficiency in English, not their interest in becoming a US citizen.”
- Moira Lucey, Program Director of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center, an ENB-funded program
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction is an integral part of obtaining citizenship for many immigrants. Many immigrants are eligible for citizenship but do not have sufficient English skills to pass the examination. In 2002, only 61% of immigrants—179,000 out of 278,000— in Massachusetts who were eligible for naturalization had become citizens. Among the primary reasons for the failure to naturalize was limited English skills. Find out more about the link between English proficiency and citizenship.
“English programs are essential, not just for recent immigrants to engage in economic and social opportunities, but also for our great city to benefit from everything new Bostonians have to offer.”
– Thomas M. Menino, Mayor, City of Boston
Immigrants represent a significant and growing percentage of the Boston workforce (32.8% in 2009) and their contributions have generated growth in both the state economy—where they represent 17% of the workforce—and population. In fact, without the presence of immigrants, the Massachusetts economy and labor force would have shrunk and the population would have declined between 2000 and 2005. There are 61,223 legal permanent residents in Boston. Demographic projections emphasize the importance of investing in English language skills. Get the full story on how immigrants are essential to our economy, and how we can all by giving them the English skills they need to get ahead.