Fernanda Santos writes in an article appearing todayin The New York Times about how classes for immigrants to learn English have long waiting lists. She’s talking about classes for immigrants who are adults. Those of you out there who work in this field know that all immigrant children, whether documented or undocumented, are entitled by federal law to a free K-12 education in this country. But if immigrants are too old to attend high school, they are on their own to find whatever English classes might be offered by houses of worship, colleges, immigrant advocacy groups, or other institutions in their communities. The shortage of classes for adults means that the parents of many of the English-language learners in the nation’s schools might not have a very good chance to learn enough English to step inside a school building with confidence and know they can carry on a conversation with their child’s teacher.
I thank This Week in Educationfor a post that drew my attention to the article.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.