Where Do English Language Learners Live in the U.S.A?

Sometimes a picture, or in this case, an interactive map is worth a thousand words.

The United States continues to attract more legal immigrants and refugees each year than any other nation in the world. We also have an estimated 10 million immigrants who have crossed the borders without waiting for their official invitations. People travel thousands of miles to start new lives here, and join the long history of our immigrant nation built on ideas rather than bloodlines. Each immigrant has an idea, a hope, and a dream of what their life could become somewhere in our vast nation.

Where are immigrants building their new lives? You might be surprised. The consequences for our public school are quite significant with dramatic increases in the need for English as a Second Language (ESL) – or third or fourth – language classes for both adults and children.

Check out this New York Times’ Interactive Map of English Language Learners across the United States that documents their growth since 1996 – and the side chart on the continuing achievement gap. Personally, I was surprised by the depth and width of new immigrants across the United States, including such places as Indiana and North Carolina.

New to English: New York Times' Interactive Map

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2 comments

  1. If you cannot immerse yourself in the language and culture by living abroad, this is the best way to learn a language.The best way to become proficient in English is through English immersion programs where the student is taught in English.

  2. We completely agree. Living and working in English is the best way to make the language a friend instead of a foe.

    Other smart choices for English language learners living in their native countries include downloading podcasts of the Voice of America and BBC, taking tutoring lessons, and joining conversation clubs.

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