According to the U.S Census Bureau, in the City of Milwaukee, of the 71,381 people between ages 18 and 64 who speak a language other than English, 18,449 report that they speak English “not well” and 5,252 report they do not speak English at all.
Yet, in Wisconsin, only 5,579 adults were enrolled in publicly-funded ESL classes in 2009-2010. Of this number, 4,488 were enrolled in ESL Beginning Literacy, Beginning Low, Beginning High, and Intermediate Low classes, where adults who report knowing English “not well” or “not at all” might be placed. Estimated numbers of applicants on 2009-2010 waiting lists ranged between 1,055 and 2,210. Click here for sources for these statistics.
A large number of immigrant adults with low English proficiency are not registering for ESL classes.
They need English classes that are stepping-stones to publicly-funded ESL and Adult Basic Education programs.
ENGLISH CONVERSATION OUTREACH classes are held three evenings a week. Every semester, approximately 100 tutors serve as conversation partners for 50 to 60 adult learners of English. The lead teacher presents the lesson to tutors, who work with their students in small groups or one-on-one tutoring. Since 2004, over 1,200 American citizens have served as English conversation partners to 900 immigrants.
CHILDREN'S LEARNING PROGRAM makes language learning a family affair for students’ and tutors’ children ages 4 to 12. Children participate in activities that strengthen reading and math skills while their parents participate in English classes.
SPANISH FOR TUTORS uses the same approach and materials as English Conversation Outreach, reversing the roles.
Adult Immigrant Students
Children of Students and Tutors