English as a Gateway: Preliminary Policy and Program Field Analysis

Melissa Holguín Pineda
Date of Publication: 
January, 2020
Source Organization: 

The acquisition of English language skills is one of the most significant barriers preventing immigrants from integrating - civically, economically, and culturally - into U.S. society. According to a study by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the existing system through which English is taught reaches less than 4% of people who need it. In the event of immigration reform or other legalization, English language acquisition is almost certain to be a requirement for immigrants, and the current landscape is under-equipped to address this significant need.

The National Partnership for New Americans’ (NPNA) “English as a Gateway Initiative” is a strategy to expand English language acquisition in the United States with NPNA members who are leading immigrant rights coalitions across the country. After a successful pilot of English Innovations in 2011-2013 lead by OneAmerica, this close partnership with NPNA has allowed for the expansion of the English language acquisition program to 11 states nationwide. The English as a Gateway Initiative aims to build English infrastructure through policy and resource development; a tested and scalable English language instruction component – “English Innovations”; and, creative integration of digital and technology-based learning through Community Navigators.

The purpose of this English as a Gateway Report is to serve as a “live document” to get a deeper understanding of what the foundation for English language access policies and programs are at the federal level, with examples grounded in the work being done at a state level. By having a birds eye view of English language access, translation services, and citizenship policies and programs, we are able to see what our capacity for English learning is across the United States, therein building, redefining, and actively changing what is possible in the realm of English language policies and programs.

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Holguín Pineda, M. (2020, January). English as a gateway: Preliminary policy and program field analysis. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1um38N1JyXaBNOTQIHLR3kBrVmvZJApto/view