Meet Some of Our Graduates
Recent graduates of OneAmerica's English Innovations program were featured on KUOW's Weekday! Listen to excerpts of those interviews to learn more about how our program is helping immigrants learn technology skills and English at the same time.
YanFen, a teacher from China
Manuel, a cook from Mexico
Ingrid, a Business Administration in Tourism degree holder from Mexico
English Innovations announces the Training of Trainers Toolkit
English Innovations is a groundbreaking program that teaches English alongside digital literacy to English Language Learners (ELL), using a mix of online and classroom instruction. English Innovation students have the freedom to progress at their own pace in the classroom and at home, and have the support of a traditional classroom community.
English Innovations brings classes to the students by providing courses at community based organizations, libraries, colleges, and the workplace. Because English Innovations works to be so accessible and flexible, it has been able to reach and retain students who are often overlooked and underserved.
Training of Trainers (TOT) Toolkit
The TOT is an interactive, fully online workshop that will give participants a solid understanding of how to implement the English Innovations curriculum. The training should take about six hours, though it is self paced, so times will vary.
Participants will explore the English Innovations blended learning model, including:
• Digital literacy instruction alongside English as a Second Language (ESL) training
• Using a mix of online and classroom instruction
• Facilitating students’ work in class and at home
Participants will walk away knowing how to:
• Build an engaging learning community
• Introduce English Language Learners to new and exciting technology (social media, internet tools, web platforms, and more)
• Build step by step lesson plans that students enjoy
• Assess student growth and knowledge pre and post course
• Help students find jobs
• Help students connect with their children’s teachers, schools, and activities
• Introduce students to civic engagement opportunities
• And more…
We at OneAmerica are thrilled to offer the ability for others to implement this empowering and rewarding program. We have perfected this model over four cycles, using advice from technology specialists, ESL and adult learning professionals, trainers, volunteers, and hundreds of students. This combination of practical, real world feedback and expert analysis and design has culminated in a truly unique and innovative program that really works. While that in-and-of-itself is fantastic, students also love the program, which is what really makes us proud!
For more information, visit ei.weareoneamerica.org.
Washington State's immigrant population is growing rapidly yet community based organizations and community colleges that provide adult English Language Learning (ELL) programs are facing steep cuts and waiting lists are growing. OneAmerica's English Innovations program tests new models of utilizing technology to help expand capacity and meet rising ELL demand.
English Innovations recognizes the core realities that immigrants want to learn English and that it benefits the entire community to help immigrants learn English. The pilot project, supported with funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, explores how students engage and learn when receiving English instruction through a technology-based and community-centered approach.
The program offers a new approach, because learning English isn't tethered to a classroom, time or a traditional teacher-student model.
- Learning on the job: Sea-Tac Airport and Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria are just two of the non-traditional sites in the English Innovations program where immigrants have been learning language skills and discovering both an online and offline learning community. Other sites include the Seattle Public Library, Renton Technical College, and St. James Cathedral.
- Mobile: Students get free laptops and internet access while enrolled, so they can practice anywhere, anytime.
- Technology skills: Technology is the teacher. Learning takes place online with the assistance of technology coaches, so that computers and the internet become catalysts for learning, not barriers.
OneAmerica has developed unique collaborations with technology providers for this project, including Seattle-based LiveMocha, the world’s largest online language learning community, who is partnering with the project to provide its ActiveEnglish course.
The English Innovations pilot program consists of three 12-week cycles that begin and end with standardized English language testing on reading, speaking, writing, listening in order to document engagement and progress. Students are matched up with volunteer OneAmerica members and friends, who are native English speakers and available as online conversation partners.
Want to know how this dynamic new program is progressing or what the students are thinking? Watch some short, video blogs created by English Innovations tech coaches!
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What People Are Saying About English Innovations
In the media:
Home Care Insight, Fall 2012 (pdf)
On December 19, 2011, several English Innovations graduates were featured on KUOW 94.9 FM's Weekday program, one of the largest public affairs programs in the Pacific Northwest. Listen to the episode, "Living Here Without English," where students were interviewed at the Cycle 2 graducation ceremony, excited to share what they learned during the program and how it would help them overcome barriers and create opportunities at work and in their community.
From Joe Fugere, founder of Tutta Bella Pizzeria, one of the program sites:
"Providing a convenient space and incentives for our employees to learn English at work is a win-win scenario. When employees improve their English, they enhance their personal career options, but also help strengthen our community."
From Chris Hammersley, English Innovations technology coach, on student success stories:
"Debebe is a hospitality worker at the Red Lion. He was only able to attend class 2 days a week due to his work schedule, yet he fully embraced the “learn at your own pace” model of Live Mocha. Debebe was our star pupil in the Red Lion class; he completed all 12 Active English courses!
In addition, Debebe’s insatiable technology appetite pushed the tech coach to model and demonstrate deeper Internet and computer skills that related to his current job and future skills he wanted to learn, like paying bills online, investigating college courses and writing letters using Microsoft Word."