Supporting English Language Acquisition

Opportunities for Foundations to Strengthen the Social and Economic Well-Being of Immigrant Families

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

June 1, 2005

Summary

This briefing paper offers clear recommendations to foundations interested in supporting Limited English Proficient (LEP) immigrants. Readers will gain an overview of the LEP population and the challenges these newcomers face. They will also learn about 5 widely replicated models for teaching English to LEP immigrants. The end goal is simple: Empower funders to strategically invest in English acquisition programs that promote stronger immigrant families and brighter economic futures. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

The problem: Too many students to teach and too few seats in the classroom

In the United States, some 14 million working-age adults speak English less than very well—and this population is growing. At the same time, federal and state funding for English language programs is falling far short. Developing these programs is critical to helping immigrants strengthen their families, enhance their economic security and achieve their full potential as contributing community members.        

Findings & Stats

Incomplete Education

Nearly 65% of adults who are LEP immigrants lack a high school degree.  

Statements & Quotations