Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Laundromats proposed as immigrant welcome centers

This would be a logical place to put these centers; everyone uses laundromats and they just sit and wait for the wash to get done. Two birds with one stone.    - - Donna Poisl

By Mark Price

The Charlotte City Council’s new effort to make the community more welcoming to immigrants could get a boost from a Latin American Coalition proposal to open a string of neighborhood laundromats that double as immigrant welcome centers.

Coalition leaders unveiled the idea late last week at the Foundation for the Carolinas during an event that hoped to recruit backers. The cost of opening the first laundromat will be in excess of $400,000, though organizers hope to reduce costs with corporate gifts.

Backers for the idea already include the Community Catalyst Fund and the Reemprise Fund, two grant-making entities that have provided a collective $95,000 to help the Latin American Coalition further develop the concept. Former Arts & Science Council President Scott Provancher is also acting as a consultant.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Houston Coalition Aims to Naturalize More Immigrants

Many immigrants have too much trouble passing the citizenship test, this new program will help some of them.    - - Donna Poisl

New America Media, News Report, Elena Shore

 HOUSTON – When Thanh Bui took her citizenship test, she was overcome with anxiety. The 78-year-old Vietnamese refugee was so nervous that she wasn’t able to answer the questions. After failing twice, she started to wonder if she should give up on her dream of becoming a U.S. citizen.

That’s when she learned that the Vietnamese American organization Boat People SOS offered citizenship classes. She enrolled in the class and after a year, retook the citizenship test – and this time she passed.

But immigrants like Bui now face an added challenge: As of May 5, the citizenship application doubles in length, from 10 to 21 pages.

Some worry that this change could deter eligible immigrants from applying for citizenship.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants' children account for growing U.S. population, and lawmakers are taking note

Immigrants are keeping our country growing, money is going to Social Security and Medicare, taxes are being paid and businesses are being started.   - - Donna Poisl

Deseret News Amy McDonald, Deseret News

If not for immigrants having children, the U.S. population would be shrinking, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

"Children of immigrants account for nearly one-quarter of all children in the United States. The share is growing as both the number of children of immigrants continues to rise while the number of children of native-born parents falls," the report says.

Vox reported that while the research shows immigrant children keep the population growing, it doesn't mean immigrant parents are having more kids. In fact, both native-born and immigrant women are having fewer children.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

15 States with the Highest Share of Immigrants in Their Population

A very interesting graph is here, showing the increase or decrease of their immigrant population in 1990, 2000 and 2012.   - - Donna Poisl

Jens Manuel Krogstad and Michael Keegan, Pew Research

A sharp rise in the number of immigrants living in the U.S. in recent decades serves as a backdrop for the debate in Congress over the nation’s immigration policies. In 1990, the U.S. had 19.8 million immigrants. That number rose to a record 40.7 million immigrants in 2012, among them 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants.

Over this period, the number of immigrants in the U.S. increased more than five times as much as the U.S.-born population (106.1% versus 19.3%), according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. As a result, from 1990 to 2012, the share of immigrants in the entire U.S. increased from 7.9% in 1990 to 13.0% in 2012.

Today there are four states in which about one-in-five or more people are foreign born–California, New York, New Jersey and Florida. By contrast, in 1990, California was the only state to have more than a fifth of its population born outside the U.S. Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Dominican immigrant creates tech startup to send money home to family

This young immigrant invented a way for people to send money back home and started a business employing others. A win-win.    - - Donna Poisl


Dominican immigrant Edrizio De La Cruz sends money each month to his aunt Matilde in Santo Domingo to help her with groceries.

But instead of wiring the funds, De La Cruz, a 33-year-old recent Wharton School of Business graduate, came up with a new way to send cash — and at the same time created one of the first tech startups located in Manhattan’s Washington Heights.

“You leave part of your family behind for better opportunities here. And part of that promise is that you are going to come here, get a better job, and give back. Give money back. You do that through remittances,” he said.

However, he felt like sending cash through services like Western Union or MoneyGram was time consuming, costly and dangerous.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Learn English vocabulary in the BATHROOM :)

More videos teaching English, the correct way to say things and common or embarrassing mistakes.  - - Donna Poisl

Learning new words is good exercise for the brain

A recent study shows how we learn vocabulary and new words throughout our lives. We have to keep learning, it keeps our minds young too.   - - Donna Poisl

By Greg Hill / At the Library

FAIRBANKS - Certain parts of the English vocabulary seem geographically predisposed. For example, to my ear, “metropolitan,” “youse,” and “commuter train” smack of East Coast urban life, though pertaining to other regions as well. “Sashay,” on the other hand, evokes a drowsy summer day in the South, as do “mosey” and “saunter.” I’m a child of the South and was chagrined to plead ignorance when asked to distinguish between “sashay,” “mosey,” and “saunter.” Fortunately, there’s no shame in ignorance if you do something about it. I did and now know “sashay” is from the French “chasse” ballet movement, “saunter” is “probably from the Middle English ‘santren,’ ‘to muse,’” but “mosey” is more local, deriving from “vamos,” Mexican Spanish for “we go.”

Moreover, sashayers “strut or move in a showy manner,” while saunterers “stroll at a leisurely pace” and moseyers “stroll in no particular hurry.” And what about their verbal cousins? Amblers take “a leisurely, pleasurable walk,” rambler’s tend to “go on and on,” and gallivanters “meander from one place to another in search of fun.” Knowing the fine distinctions between similar terms enables writers to paint effective word-pictures that similarly-skilled readers can appreciate. But how does one acquire those more esoteric words in the first place?
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Making a game of learning a language

These kids are learning English by playing a game they all like.   - - Donna Poisl


Miami Edison Senior High students are working to improve language and literacy with Word Avenger, a mobile app game that takes players on an intergalactic mission to shoot vocabulary words with matching definitions.

The students won the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge’s High School Track with their idea that stems from a struggle all-too-familiar to English language learners.

Gerlannda Asse moved from Haiti in 2010 when she was only 13, after the earthquake shook her hometown. She remembers feeling shy, lost and embarrassed in an unfamiliar place where not even her parents spoke the language.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Global learning: DeKalb elementary school an international cultural hub

The immigrant children are learning about the US and their classmates are learning about all the countries they came from.   - - Donna Poisl


DeKALB – Principal Cristy Meyer might not be able to list all 23 countries represented in Jefferson Elementary School's student body, but she's keenly aware of what a diverse school she runs.

Jefferson, 211 McCormick Drive in DeKalb is the designated DeKalb School District 428 school for English language learner students. While some of those students could be from DeKalb, many have come other countries such as Turkey, South Korea, Kosovo or Spain.

“We have a little League of Nations here,” said Meyers. “I think about how rich of an education they're getting here. They have a little slice of the world.”
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Learning English videos

   Watch these videos and learn American English, especially common mistakes. - - Donna Poisl

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Let's hope the Republicans listen to Senator McCain.    - - Donna Poisl

by Greg Zeman, Editorial Assistant

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) thinks it's time to come to grips with facts: undocumented immigrants in the US aren't going anywhere and there's no feasible way to force them all out.

"They're not going home. And so why don't we give them a path to citizenship? There are not enough buses to deport them... it's de facto amnesty... If you keep these people in the shadows, it is a stain on America's honor."
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Months ahead, Calif. immigrants study for test to obtain upcoming driver's license

Immigrants can apply for driver licenses in 2015 and they are studying now so they pass the test. This is a good decision, the roads will be safer for everyone.   - - Donna Poisl

By AMY TAXIN  Associated Press

SANTA ANA, California — There's a lot riding on a California law to grant driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally and supporters are already preparing prospective drivers to pass the test required to get one.

A Mexican consulate is hosting monthly driver's license test preparation classes. A community college is designing a 15-hour course to help immigrants prepare. And the state's Department of Motor Vehicles has put together new audio materials in Spanish with months to go before the new licenses are issued.

The push comes after Nevada saw 90 percent of immigrants flunk the written test in the first few weeks a new driver authorization card was offered. The California DMV is also concerned that immigrants may not know they need to take a written test when they apply for a license, and that some applicants may not have the literacy proficiency needed to pass.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Desert rescue beacons let immigrants call for help

I live in Tucson, it will be good to hear of more rescues and fewer bodies.   - - Donna Poisl

By Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Ariz. — Thorn-coated bushes, rock-covered terrain, scorching temperatures. A hissing rattlesnake.

These are just a few of the many perils migrants crossing from Mexico into the southern Arizona desert encounter every day. And far more of them will attempt to cross this summer, the U.S. Border Patrol predicts.

The agency unveiled its plans Wednesday for dealing with the problem of immigrants dying in the desert, including 10 new beacons that allow migrants to call for help at the push of a red button. The agency is also adding new hoisting systems on helicopters to rescue immigrants.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

School garden teaches more than how to make things grow

While working in their school garden, these kids are learning many things, including English.   - - Donna Poisl


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Some Charlotte high school students are learning chemistry, history, even English, all from working in the school garden.

They are getting down and dirty at the Garinger High garden.

When we visited, 11th grade English as second language students were working in the school's garden for the first time.

The idea behind the garden is that no matter what the students are learning in the classroom, they can take it and learn it out here. The ESL students are working on vocabulary, so they've written out the word “peas,” which they’re growing, in several different languages.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Education and Self-Employment: South Asian Immigrants in the US Labor Market

by Nabamita Dutta, Saibal Kar and Sanjukta Roy

A very interesting report, click the headline to read the April 2014 discussion paper.    - - Donna Poisl
Starting From the Bottom: Why Mexicans are the Most Successful Immigrants in America

When you measure how far second generation Mexicans and Chinese have come from where their parents were, the Mexicans are more successful.    - - Donna Poisl

By Mitch Moxley

Who’s more successful: The child of Chinese immigrants who is now a prominent attorney, or a second-generation Mexican who completed high school and now holds a stable, blue collar job?

The answer depends on how you define success.

In fact, according to a study by University of California, Irvine, Sociology Professor Jennifer Lee and UCLA Sociology Professor Min Zhou, contrary to stereotypes, Mexican-Americans are the most successful second-generation group in the country. The reason is simple: The study considered not just where people finished, but from where they started.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Immigrants spur US microbusiness training programs

Immigrants are getting help starting small businesses, employing workers and being more successful.     - - Donna Poisl

from Associated Press

PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — After immigrating to the United States from the Mexican state of Oaxaca more than two decades ago, Paula Asuncion worked on farms and in minimum wage jobs at fast-food restaurants — a widow struggling to feed six children, sharing cramped apartments with other families.

Her prospects changed two years ago after she joined a program in northwestern Oregon state that helps immigrants open small culinary businesses. After training with the microbusiness incubator at Portland nonprofit Hacienda CDC, Asuncion now runs a catering service, employs other immigrants, and has bought a home for her family.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Program helps Spanish-speaking parents learn English

A grant from United Way has funded a program to help immigrants learn English so they can be better, more involved parents to their school kids.   - - Donna Poisl

by Kristine Guerra

Celia Casado wanted to be an involved parent. She wanted to help her kids with their homework.

She had one problem. The mother of three didn’t speak English.

That was last fall. Now, the Lawrence resident is able to practice sounds of English letters with her daughter. She can point out grammatical errors in her children’s homework — thanks to a program at Sunnyside Elementary School of International Studies and the two teachers who work extra hours to teach Casado and other parents how to speak English.

The program is funded by a three-year $390,000 grant from the United Way of Central Indiana, school Principal Erica Buchanan said. Twenty-five Spanish-speaking parents have signed up to attend after-school classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

U.S. Department of State To Offer Second Massive Online Course for English Language

This new course is for educators teaching English worldwide.   - - Donna Poisl

Written by IVN

Washington, DC - The State Department is launching Part II of Shaping the Way We Teach English, a massive open online course (MOOC) for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) educators, on May 12, 2014. By strengthening the quality of English teaching around the world, the Department of State hopes to open economic opportunities in science, business, technology, and higher education for more of our international partners and offer skills for a better future.

Part I of the Shaping the Way We Teach English MOOC, completed in April 2014, successfully enrolled over 18,000 participants worldwide. Designed both for professionals already working in the area of EFL and for those pursuing the field as a career, both MOOC sessions assist EFL educators worldwide in updating and augmenting their teaching methods. When educators employ the teaching methods and technologies learned throughout the course, they improve leaning outcomes for their students and build leadership among their peers.
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Preschool children learn about each other's cultures

Learning this at such a young age will give these kids a good start at appreciating all the cultures they will come in contact with in their lives.   - - Donna Poisl

By April Allen, Northwest Iowa Publishing

Taste, see, smell, and hear the world. In Storm Lake that can be done with so many different cultures from everywhere around the world residing here.

Students eating fried plantains, lo mein, and sticky rice followed by assembling May Day baskets took over the Early Childhood Center on Thursday as part of their Multicultural Festival.

The festival has one main goal -- to learn about other cultures and embrace them. The center is a pre-school program that over the last 20 years has changed drastically as far as having students of different backgrounds.

Patti Wolff with the East Early Childhood Education Center comments, "Storm Lake as a whole has changed in the last 15 to 20 years and what we do here is try to celebrate each other's uniqueness versus doing the opposite."
Click on the HEADLINE above to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Top 10 Apps for Learning English

Written by Miley Wils for EnglishClub

iPads or tablet PCs are the most wonderful tools for learning and teaching English. Students are more attracted towards iPads as compared to other devices, and use them to access online resources in their classrooms. With the help of the thousands of education and language apps available in Apple’s app store, students make effective use of the iPad to learn in an interactive environment.

Click here for a list of some of the best iPad apps for learning and teaching English.
Brazilian High School Students Learn English From Seniors In Retirement Homes [VIDEO]

This is a terrific program: high school students in Brazil are linked on their computers with seniors in a Chicago retirement home to learn English.    - - Donna Poisl

 By CJ

In a world where a lot of the news is bad and where young people are portrayed as lazy, disrespectful and thug like, this story about high school students in Brazil learning English from seniors in retirement homes who are looking for someone to talk to will warm your heart.

Our seniors in retirement homes are sometimes placed there and to some degree forgotten.  Sure, they may get visitors from friends and family every now and then, but how do they fill the rest of the time?  Time spent in a retirement home can be lonely and long.

CNA Language School is helping high school students learn English by setting up video chats with American seniors living in retirement communities.  The students get to practice their English, and the seniors get someone to talk to during times when they’d usually be alone.

This video will warm your heart and soul and maybe even give you new renewed hope for young people worldwide.
The American Immigration Council Announces Winners of the 17th Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest

For Immediate Release

May 7, 2014

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce that the first place winner of our 17th Annual Celebrate America Fifth Grade Creative Writing Contest is Charlotte Leigh from the Carrollton School in Miami, Florida.  Charlotte’s poem was chosen from among thousands of entries nationwide. Her piece chronicles a family’s journey to America and their transformation upon their arrival.  Inspired by research done in class about immigrants, the novel The Orphan of Ellis Island by Elvira Woodruff, and her own family’s immigration story, Charlotte writes:

Ten years past for our family, it’s a different story,
They are settled in America and living in glory,
Their minds have cleared of nightmare past,
They are living their dreams at long last,
The daughters are in college with brains full of knowledge,
One wants to be a teacher, the other wants to be a preacher,
Dad went to night school to become a lawyer,
Mum is working as an apprentice joiner,
Who would have thought this family with such a terrible start
Could live their dream and become extremely smart?

To read the entire winning entry, click here.

Charlotte, who came to the United States from England as a baby, said, “growing up in America has been great even though I know my accent is different. I am able to get a great education and have made great friends.”  When asked what surprised her most about the United States, Charlotte said, “I was surprised by the way everyone spoke. Some of the words were different from what I would say. In England, everyone was patriotic, always waving the British flag. Here, we see lots of different flags.” Coincidentally, the announcement of Charlotte’s achievement fell on her father’s birthday. Upon receiving the news, David Leigh said, “It’s my 50th birthday today and the news is the best birthday present I could have asked for.”

The second place winner is Anya Shukla from Bellevue, Washington, and the third place winner is Zoe Scully from Saint Louis, Missouri.  Honorable mentions were awarded to Sofie Chester-Thompson from Raleigh, North Carolina, and to Andrea Langoiff from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Charlotte will read her poem and receive her award at the American Immigration Council’s Annual Benefit in Boston on June 20, 2014. Her winning entry will also be read at Faneuil Hall, and all top five winners will receive a flag flown over the National Capitol.

The celebrity judges of the national contest include Gerda Weissman-Klein, founder of Citizenship Counts, Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino, Marina Budhos, award winning author, and last year’s Grand Prize winner, Erin Stark.

25 Chapters of the American Immigration Lawyers Association participated in the contest. The top entry from each participating Chapter was judged by a panel of immigration experts who chose the top five entries sent to the celebrity judges.

2014 marks the American Immigration Council’s 17th Annual Creative Writing Contest, a national contest for fifth grade students sponsored by the Community Education Center. The contest provides youth with an opportunity to learn more about immigration to the U.S. and to explain, in their own words, why they are proud America is a nation of immigrants. 


 For more information, contact Claire Tesh at
Living in a Car Culture Without a License:
The Ripple Effects of Withholding Driver's Licenses from Unauthorized Immigrants

For Release

April 24, 2014

Washington D.C. - Today, the Council's Immigration Policy Center releases Living in a Car Culture Without a License: The Ripple Effects of Withholding Driver's Licenses from Unauthorized Immigrants by Sarah E. Hendricks, Ph.D.

In recognition of the many contributions immigrants make to our society and economy, states and cities across the country are creating welcoming initiatives that seek to integrate and maximize the contributions of immigrant workers and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. On a parallel track, some states currently offer driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants and many more states have begun considering it. This makes sense given that the United States is among the top motor-vehicle dependent countries in the world. This paper argues that states that do not offer driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants will limit the contributions that immigrant communities as a whole can make, are likely to face negative economic and public safety consequences and risk creating a climate that impedes the adaptation of immigrants.

To view the paper in its entirety, see:
Living in a Car Culture Without a License: The Ripple Effects of Withholding Driver's Licenses from Unauthorized Immigrants by Sarah E. Hendricks, Ph.D. (IPC Perspectives, April 2014)
For more information, contact Wendy Feliz at