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June 20, 2013

US

Silicon Valley’s immigrant janitors learning English at work

Teaching-English-in-USEmployees at the likes of Google and Facebook in California are increasingly taking on the role of English teacher to immigrant workers.

If the immigration bill being debated by the Senate this week becomes law, millions of immigrants eager to become legal residents will need to learn English. It's also currently a requirement for passing the citizenship exam.

But studying is a daunting task for people working multiple jobs, and budget cuts to adult education make finding a class difficult.

Consider the case of Daniel Montes. When he was 18, Montes moved to the Bay Area from Mexico. Everything was an adjustment, but nothing was more difficult than the new language.

“It would be equal to losing your voice and not being able to speak from one day to the next,” he said.

Montes found work as a janitor. He said he remained virtually silent at work for two years until he found an ESL class in a church in San Jose.

Read the full post from New America Media.

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