A common problem for immigration countries is how to teach those immigrants the language of the country. Sometimes, there is simply no interest from their side but most often there are simply not enough possibilities for immigrants to learn the language of their chosen destination.
Add federal budget cuts to the mix and you end up with a growing group of people that don’t speak English for instance and who will then naturally have lower chances to succeed in their career and who will also start building a society of their own.
OneAmerica is a non-profit organization in the US which aims to empower those immigrant communities to advance the fundamental principles of democracy and justice.
Initially named Hate Free Zone, the organization was founded immediately after September 11, 2001 to address the backlash in a post 9/11 world against immigrant communities of color, primarily Muslims, Arab Americans, East Africans, and South Asians.
In their “Innovations in English Language Learning Project“, OneAmerica wants to test new methods of English Language Learning for adults with the aim to grow its capacity and meet the rising demand of English lessons for immigrants. The project is financially supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In this project immigrants will learn English through three components. With a group of partners like Sea-Tac Airport or the “Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizza” restaurants immigrants will receive English training on the job. As second component, immigrants will receive a laptop and Internet access during their enrollment to enable them to learn anywhere, anytime. Last but not least, they will receive coaching on the use of technology and the Internet in order to enhance their opportunities to learn.
In the first session, immigrants will receive access to the Livemocha Active English course, for the second session OneAmerica partnered with U.S.A. Learns. Each session will last 12 weeks and at the end immigrants will take a standardized English language test on reading, speaking, writing, listening in order to document engagement and progress.