World Education is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs.

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English Now!

States: Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island

Client(s): Dollar General Literacy Foundation

Service: Technical Assistance and Coaching

Expertise: Immigrant Integration and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Integrating Technology in Learning


Many immigrants who want to study English can't. Funding for adult education classes is limited, so programs that offer English as a second language (ESL) classes are often full and can’t always offer seats to all who need one. Many programs have anywhere from 60 to 600 adults on a waiting list for English classes at any one time.

With a grant from Dollar General’s Literacy Foundation, World Education's EdTech Center is designing and piloting a project in five New England adult education programs, so those who want to learn English do not have to wait months to begin their study.

In collaboration with Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), this project is providing low-cost English language learning opportunities for adults on waitlists through weekly study groups (learning circles) where learners will work through online English courses together. The EdTech Center and P2PU staff train program staff, who turn train volunteer’s to run the lightly-facilitated learning circles. The proposed proof of concept project is laying the groundwork for a scale-up of an innovative, low-cost blended learning intervention to open access to instruction for hundreds of immigrants on waiting lists for classes.