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15. Learning English
According to the 2000 US Census, 39 percent
people who live in California do not speak
at home. In Las Casas, a city in
California, 79 percent of residents speak little or
English at home or at work. To combat
problem, Las Casas is instituting a program called
My English. Program funding will come from government
and corporate donations.
The program has two goals.
is to improve residents’ English so that they
get better jobs. The other is to provide
qualified workers for corporations throughout the county.
desperate for good workers who speak English,” said
Rove of Containers, Ltd. “We have nationwide truck
for good drivers, and we need salespeople in
“We want everyone in Las Casas
speak English,” said Ivan Libby, administrator of the
district. “They don’t have to speak fluent English,
course, just survival English—how to give and get
, order food, visit the doctor, read labels on
and medicines—the basic stuff. Once they're able to
and write more English, they’ll be able to
better work and they’ll be more confident. We
this confidence will inspire some of them to
on to get their high school diploma and
even get a degree from a community college
Currently, most Las Casas residents qualify
only low-paying jobs. In fact, the pay is
so low that residents need to work two
to make ends meet. This program will help
get better-paying jobs not only in California but
nationwide. The district will mount a huge advertising
to alert residents to the free program. Love
English will be offered at various sites and
to reach as many residents as possible.