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ERIC Number: ED540172
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Bad English
Hilliard, Tom
Center for an Urban Future
Between 2005 and 2009, the number of foreign-born residents in New York State grew by nearly 5 percent, building on a consistent tide of new immigration to New York over the past quarter-century. This latest wave of immigration has brought significant benefits to the state. The new arrivals have replenished lost population in many communities, provided an entrepreneurial spark and served as a growing part of the labor force. But while these new New Yorkers are becoming increasingly critical to the state's economic future, New York is not leveraging their full potential. A large number of these individuals lack the English proficiency needed to fully integrate into the workforce, but only a fraction of them have been able to enroll in state-funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. Between 2005 and 2009, the number of adults in New York State who speak English "less than very well" grew by 6 percent, but enrollment in state-funded English instruction dropped by 17 percent. Appallingly, as of 2009, there were state funded ESOL classes available for only one in every 25 adults lacking English proficiency. The good news is that the state's ESOL programs have grown more effective in recent years. But the impact of those gains is blunted by the fact that most New Yorkers who could benefit from English-language instruction are simply unable to access ESOL programs. Increasing English instruction capacity would almost certainly yield benefits for the state economy. This report serves as an update to the 2006 "Lost in Translation" report, jointly published with the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy. That study found that there was a severe gap between the demand for English-language instruction in communities across the state and the availability of state-supported ESOL classes. This report finds that the gap has continued to widen in the absence of decisive state action. (Contains 3 tables, 5 charts, and 4 endnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by Mertz-Gilmore Foundation.]
Center for an Urban Future. 120 Wall Street 20th Floor, New York, NY 10005. Tel: 212-479-3341; Fax: 212-344-6457; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for an Urban Future
Identifiers - Location: New York