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Remote learning not so good for immigrants

The Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, offers free English language lessons to immigrants and refugees aged 16 and up. They’re immersive, in that they’re taught in English, and cover speaking, reading, writing, listening, grammar and computer skills. Classes take place five days a week and participants can attend morning or afternoon sessions. Pre-pandemic the classes were face to face and they were just about to start meeting in person again when the Omicron variant struck.

“Lots of students and staff either got Covid or were exposed to someone with Covid,” Karen Oakley, director of English Language Programs at the center told WBZ News Radio. This has meant the classes are now being held solely online again, which isn’t good news for the language learners, as the number of attendees dropped dramatically when classes moved to remote teaching. This may well be because of issues around being able to afford computers, as well as reliable wifi. Naturally, Oakley is hoping they get back to in-person learning soon.

“Immigrants contribute a lot to our country, our communities,” Oakley told WBZ. “Most of them want to learn English to be a part of that community.”

Image courtesy of Pixa
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
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