two engineers at a construction site

Imagine you have arrived in a new country where the dominant language is one you have limited proficiency in or do not command. And this is not a vacation. Either out of desire or necessity, you are now living in a new country navigating a new life and new language. To survive, gain some stability, and hopefully thrive, you have to find meaningful employment. Fortunately, if you have decided to plant your roots in Brevard County, Florida, a resource for learning English as a new language is Brevard Adult and Community Education. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Division of Adult Education and Literacy, Florida is the third state with the highest immigrant population serving over 171,116 English language programs participants under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which is a “Federal program that provides foundation skills below the postsecondary level and English literacy instruction for out-of-school youth and adults.”

In a recent episode of “Language is Your Superpower” podcast, guest Casie Arellano shares how she supports adult English language learners with the attainment of language proficiency for a diverse workforce. With a career of over 13 years in education and 5 years working with the Adult Education program, she explains how Brevard Adult and Community Education is building outreach centers to help adult learners develop a pathway to achieving their dreams using language as a stepping-stone. Their ESOL program is one of their most successful programs in the state, assisting students who are integrating into a new life and the culture of the United States. Courses cover improving language skills, learning about U.S. culture, and preparing to become a U.S. citizen, to name a few.

Many of the ESOL learners Casie and her team serve arrive with educational achievements from their countries of origin, and they are looking for ways to start their lives in Florida but may not be proficient in English and need assistance with job placement. That’s where Casie’s team comes in to focus on helping them improve their proficiency in English so they can navigate conversations as they go about their daily lives, such as going to the grocery store, taking their children to school, making doctors’ appointments, etc. For job placement, specifically, they partner with collaborators like CareerSource Brevard, to focus on workplace conversation and occupational terminology. For example, if ESOL learners want a job in accounting or tax preparation, there is a program that helps them learn the terminology associated with having a career as a tax preparer. Due to the challenges of securing adequate childcare and transportation, Casie’s team of over 27 instructors support their clientele by also offering these classes virtually.

All of the variables that a native English language speaker or someone that is raised in the U.S. might take for granted, Brevard Adult and Community Education provides as support to those in need. Aimed at identifying resources and eliminating barriers “that lead to educational goals and workforce opportunity,” the program’s mission is to “provide an open door to a quality education to all adult learners and those in the community that seek skills to enhance their life.” Just like Brevard Adult and Community Education, Language Testing International believes that “education is the key to success” and that language education can open pathways to navigating life and work in more than one language.

The next step in your language journey starts today. Test your language proficiency with LTI.

Tune into the podcast with Casie here.

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