English Innovations


The most significant barrier facing millions of immigrants is learning English. Limited English proficiency is an obstacle to fully integrating into life in the U.S.— getting a good job, having educational options, and participating in civic life. Compounding lack of English proficiency is the gap in digital literacy for millions of Americans in our technologically advancing society.

English Innovations®
is a blended social learning model that integrates English language learning and combines a collaborative, supportive classroom environment with online tools that enable self-paced, independent learning. Our successful language learning model incorporates two key components: motivation and English language immersion. An innovative, tailored curriculum, paired with digital tools and peersupport provides English language education that is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Conventional systems of language instruction are not effective in providing ways for adult immigrants to learn English, as demonstrated by weak retention rates and slow learning gains by students in traditional ESL classes. Adult learners typically have jobs and families, and they need flexible learning time. So how do we deliver flexible learning environments while keeping students immersed and engaged?


-     Tailored curriculum framework integrates digital literacy skills & language development

-     Blended model offers in-class and self-paced learning through online tools and game-based learning

-     A collaborative classroom environment facilitates cognitive, social and emotional engagement

-     Tutor-facilitated activities, volunteer involvement, and peer support empowers learners

-     A model grounded in communities, engaging immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations in advocacy for effective English learning and immigrant integration.


In 2011-13, OneAmerica piloted English Innovations with 300 students in the Seattle area. Results showed:

-     Nearly 70% of post-tested students achieved significant language learning gains, with nearly 60% of  students completing an entire language learning level in 12 weeks (compared to 41% completion rate in traditional ESL courses).

-     Students achieved rapid gains not only in English and technology skills, but also demonstrated increased confidence, competence and community participation.

-     The program was field tested and success demonstrated that the model can easily be integrated into workplaces, public libraries, community colleges and nonprofit organizations.


In partnership with the National Partnership for New Americans and Learning Games Network, OneAmerica offers English Innovations as a high-quality English and digital literacy instruction model for community-based organizations (CBO’s) nationwide. We hope to increase the capacity of immigrant-serving CBO’s while strengthening the English language instruction field nationally. CBO’s will implement the model in local communities through outreach to immigrant communities, recruit students in targeted audiences, and train volunteers, technology coaches and program staff to bring meaningful curriculum to adults who don’t have access to formal ESL classes.

Our goal is for over 1,000 individual learners to participate in courses at sites in six states by 2017, with the hope of expanding our reach to all 50 states by 2020. Currently, the priority population is young adult immigrants who were brought to the U.S. without authorization as children, and who are now potentially eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), except for meeting the educational requirement under the policy. English Innovations helps DACA-eligible individuals fulfill this requirement.

We also see significant opportunities to offer combined English and digital literacy instruction to other target populations, including:

-     Immigrants in the workforce who need improved English and technology skills to improve their employment prospects

-     Immigrant parents who need the skills to improve communication with their children’s teachers, doctors and other caregivers

-     Immigrants on the path to citizenship who need the skills to integrate fully into civic life in the U.S.

Through English Innovations, we are building needed community infrastructure across the nation to help immigrants achieve their dreams, bring relief to undocumented workers and ensure the integration of English learners into our society and economy.

For more information, please contact Arianne Garden Vazquez, English Innovations Project Manager or Elisabeth Vasquez Hein, English Innovations Development Manager.

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