Education for Adult English-Learners Faltering, Report Asserts
By Lesli A. Maxwell
July 11, 2013
The prevailing system for educating adult English-language learners is falling woefully short in helping students reach proficiency in the language, a new report asserts.
With just around 40 percent of adults who are enrolled in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) courses demonstrating improvement in their proficiency each year, the federal and state-funded adult ESL programs need a major overhaul, argues the Lexington Institute, a conservative public policy think tank based in Arlington, Va.
The report—written by Sean Kennedy and John Walters—cites U.S. Census data that 23 million adults in the United States lack "adequate" English proficiency. More than 2 million of those are American-born. That, they argue, is already, and will continue to be, a "severe hindrance for both the economic mobility and assimilation of these immigrants and some native-born Americans, who are trapped in generational linguistic isolation."
The main reason for those disappointing outcomes, the report says, is that many adult ESL programs—the majority of them run by government agencies—are not at all designed to meet the needs of the learners themselves.
Read the full article at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2013/07/education_for_adult_ells_falte.html