ESL Program

Fort Wayne, like many other communities across the nation, is home to a significant number of new Americans (refugees and other immigrants). These new Americans and their families contribute to both the diversity and the economy of the region, offering the potential for a vibrant, productive, and healthy local community. Yet, these new Americans (especially the refugees) face several barriers to social, health, and economic well-being. Some of these barriers are created by being disproportionately in low-income bracket and uninsured. Others are unique, such as cultural and linguistic barriers, limited eligibility (both perceived and real) for public benefits, and bearing the brunt of unfamiliar public views, attitudes, and policies. AISEDA believes that addressing these barriers will not only benefit the immigrant population, but in turn will also strengthen the local community, and, by extension, the nation.

 Most resettled refugees in the community (especially the adults) speak (an) other language(s) and have very limited English proficiency. This has been shown to impede access to job opportunities, quality health care (both primary and preventive) and other community resources and facilities that make for better living. In addition to the typical stressors that relocation involves, these new Americans also face a period of cultural adjustment that upsets family dynamics. For instance, it is widely known that adults tend to learn English (or any other new language) more slowly than children, resulting in a reliance on their children for help with interpretation and with navigating community systems. This change in power dynamics can be detrimental, eroding the respect children are often expected to show for their parents and contributing to the rupture of the family unit – the social fabric of the nation AISEDA offers free adult English literacy program to improve their written and oral competencies.