Saturday, November 29, 2008

Free Web Site Launched to Help Immigrants Learn English

The U.S. Department of Education launched U.S.A. Learns, a free Web site to help immigrants learn English. The Web site, which is located at, provides approximately 11 million adults who have low levels of English proficiency with accessible free English language training.

Measures like this to foster immigrant integration make a lot of sense, much more sense than efforts to build fences and what not.


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Yeah right. The problem is that, if the immigrant does not already speak English, he or she probably does not even have a computer. I vigorously dispute the suggestion that "11 million adults" are accessing the website. This program could be more efficiently administered by local schools, churches and other organizations if (and it is a big if) the immigrants even wanted to learn English in the first place.

Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 29, 2008 9:19:19 AM

I cannot fathom the mentality of a person that would object to this simple and easy to access program. What exactly is Lillich afraid of? Success of this program? That immigrants with would be able to assimilate a little easier into mainstream society? Am I getting warm here?

What statistical study has he read that suggests that only English speaking people own computers? When was it published, 1971? Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing for our immigrant population to have internet access, and the ability to use it efficiently? Why would this program be administered more efficiently by local schools, churches, and other, (unidentified), organizations? Are immigrants meant to learn only local dialects? Do these local organizations have more resources than the Federal Government?

Furthermore, it is a particularly xenophobic and delusional brand of ignorance that subscribes to the theory that immigrants - legal or otherwise - would rather not speak the language of the country that they emigrated to. Contrary to the "big if" theory of Lillich, I would suggest that his notions constitute the most microscopic "If Theory" this side of "String Theory".

Why does this gentlemen(?) feel the urgent and uncontrollable need to weigh in on the negative side of every posting on this blog? His constant and frankly irritating juvenile obstructionism has gotten beyond the point of tedium. There is nothing wrong with Lillich or anyone pointing out logical contradictions and opposing viewpoints when they are warranted. Civil discourse should always be welcome. However, I would remind this human "Chicken Little" that if he took a moment to peer outside, he would see that the sky is not about to fall. If he really wants to be taken seriously, he should keep his powder dry until he has located the elusive "valid point".

Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Nov 29, 2008 12:11:03 PM

I think it is great, very well done and I'll use it in my Ingles por Todos classes. Thanks whoever posted it on ISN (KJ). TEA

Posted by: TE Artemis | Nov 29, 2008 12:53:11 PM

Maybe the American-born require the help of this website a tad bit more than the immigrants I know :)

Posted by: PL | Nov 29, 2008 1:11:10 PM

What great news! Thanks for the info. I'll have to send it to others I know. I wish the site would have introductions in more languages than English and espaƱol. At the same time, having an introduction in Spanish is a great step towards making all feel welcome at the site.

Posted by: Katherine Bolton | Nov 29, 2008 7:37:03 PM

first i thank you for this invition my english langugh is very weak so that i want to help yours.blease if you could help me by e-mail i am very happy ...thank you

Posted by: biniyam gezaei | Mar 17, 2009 1:23:59 AM

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