ERIC Number: ED481481
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
The Language of Opportunity: Expanding Employment Prospects for Adults with Limited English Skills.
Wrigley, Heide Spruck; Richer, Elise; Martinson, Karin; Kubo, Hitomi; Strawn, Julie
This paper describes the demographics and economic circumstances of low income adults with limited English proficiency (LEP), noting the language and job training services available to them and providing recommendations for policy and practice that would increase opportunities to gain access to higher paying jobs. More then eight million working-age U.S. adults speak English poorly or not at all. Most are immigrants representing a wide range of countries. Over the next 2 decades, the percentage of LEP workers will continue to increase with continued growth in immigration and the aging of the native-born workforce. Many immigrants lack education credentials and have low levels of literacy. They are concentrated in low-wage work and may live in poverty. Available research shows that the best programs to deliver English language, literacy, and job training combine job training with basic skills instruction or provide a mix of services. Recommendations for program design include: creating programs that combine language and literacy services with job skills training; creating career pathways for LEP adults; considering the merits of bilingual job training in areas where English is not necessary for job training; and offering short-term bridge programs that transition participants to job training and higher education more quickly. Several programs that illustrate some of these promising practices are described in the appendix. (Contains 99 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Adults, Employment Opportunities, English (Second Language), Immigrants, Job Training, Limited English Speaking, Literacy Education, Low Income Groups, Second Language Instruction
Center for Law and Social Policy, 1015 15th Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site: http://www.clasp.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Public Welfare Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC.; National Inst. for Literacy, Washington, DC.
Note: Produced with the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium.