Skills to Survive or Thrive? Shifting the Paradigm for Immigrant Adult Learners From Survival English to Integration Success

Skills to Survive or Thrive? Shifting the Paradigm for Immigrant Adult Learners From Survival English to Integration Success
Thursday, October 11, 2018 -
12:30pm to 2:00pm PDT
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Location Shared Upon Registration


Despite the highly polarized nature of federal immigration policy debates, most agree that once immigrants are admitted to the United States it is in the country’s—and immigrants’—best interest that they successfully integrate into the civic, economic, and social life of their new communities. Adult education services offered through a federal-state partnership system are currently the main vehicle for providing immigrants and refugees with the English—and to a lesser extent, integration—knowledge and skills necessary for life in the United States. However, this critical system meets only a small fraction (less than four percent) of adult learner needs in the country, and it is currently being re-shaped by mandatory performance measures that make it all but impossible for programs to provide knowledge and skills that would support the successful long-term civic and economic integration of immigrants and their children.
Over the past year a new initiative led by the Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy has worked—in partnership with UnidosUS, and an advisory panel of national experts—to re-think and build consensus around a new instructional design that adapts to the digital age and more effectively addresses immigrants’ language learning and longer-term integration success needs. The initiative has also supported community leaders in six states to build policy analysis capacity on adult education issues and identify and address weaknesses in their state systems. Drawing on these efforts and research from the integration, adult education, and post-secondary success fields, MPI will be releasing a policy brief this fall that argues for the adoption of a new “English Plus Integration” adult education program model that explicitly values integration topics, skills, and strategies that will support English acquisition and successful integration trajectories well beyond the end of an initial program of instruction.
Join us for a pre-publication briefing that will explore these important efforts, their intersections with issues of concern to grant makers in the anti-poverty, economic mobility and immigration policy fields, and a discussion of actions that can be taken now to catalyze a paradigm shift in how knowledge and skills that support integration success are conceptualized and imparted.



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Registration is now closed.
Background materials and a final agenda for the meeting, including call-in information for those joining by phone, will be distributed to confirmed participants prior to the event.