In the United States, a country where 94 percent of residents believe that knowing how to speak English is very important, there are 1.8 million non-English speaking immigrants arriving every year, according to a study by Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based research institute that is a non-partisan think-tank dedicated towards the study of immigration.
As millions of immigrants move from their home country to the U.S. one of the barriers they face is proficiency in English. Claudia Green, Executive Director for English for New Bostonians said that the way to ensure appropriate integration for such a barrier is for these immigrants in American society to learn a basic level of English. “Learning English…opens doors. It allows immigrants new and old in this country to really fully participate in everything. It allows them to access jobs, to get a better job, it allows people to really support their children,” she said.
The study also states that “immigrants who are English proficient earn between 13 to 24 percent more than immigrants who are not English proficient.”
Bridging The Language Gap looks at the work of English language learning centers and their role as facilitators towards a better life for immigrants in the U.S.
This story was done with Long-form Storytelling class at Emerson College, in collaboration with Dalinda Ifill-Pressat and under the guidance of Prof. Douglas Struck.