Free online site serves as digital classroom for learning English

LatinaLista — Regardless of the final outcome of what an immigration reform bill looks like, there are two things that are certain — 12 million people will not be deported and 12 million people will have to master speaking English.

One of the biggest fallacies perpetuated by people who are against allowing these same undocumented immigrants become an official part of American society is the notion that they don’t want to learn to speak English.
There is proof that, across the country, English classes for immigrants have waiting lists and can’t accommodate all the people who want to learn the language.
Recognizing that there is a need for more English classes, some government entities got together to create a new website just for those who want to learn English.
It’s called U.S.A. Learns and “is a joint effort of the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), Internet and Media Services Department and the Project IDEAL Support Center at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.”
The free website breaks learning English into three levels: beginners, low intermediate and advanced practice reading and writing. The site is geared for Spanish-speakers and so instructions on how to use the site are available in Spanish.
What is really cool about the site is that it’s not some boring English-learning site but one that has a variety of activities and even musical videos — kind of reminiscent of the Sesame Street approach to teaching.
Within each lesson there are various activities dealing with reading, reciting, matching and learning new vocabulary. The site also uses the video to illustrate real-life scenarios to help people in common conversations they might find themselves in while at work, shopping or socializing.
Though the site is free, it asks that users register so their progress through the lessons can be kept and they can see what their scores are as they complete each unit’s activities.
While no online lesson is a substitute for a flesh-and-blood teacher, this site takes learning English to a comparable level and is an excellent alternative for those who want to learn English and don’t want to wait till there’s an available class nearby.

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