Friday, July 26, 2013
Our broken system of teaching English: Opinion
This opinion piece points out problems in the ESL programs and gives some suggestions to help more people learn English. - - Donna Poisl
By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist Sean Kennedy
Lost amid the din of the immigration debate are 23 million U.S. adults who cannot speak English adequately. Although most of these adults — 20 million — are foreign-born, the other 3 million are U.S.-born citizens who are classified as Limited English Proficiency. Nearly 1 million live in New Jersey.
For these adults, English matters. For Latinos, limited English contributes directly to dropping out of school and $3,000 in lost wages each year — costing the U.S. economy $38 billion annually. But English proficiency can be as vital and basic as parents communicating with teachers and doctors about their child’s well-being. And despite the rhetoric on both sides, immigrants are highly motivated to learn English. They know English is the key to the American Dream, upward mobility and assimilation.
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