A Summary of the Article
According to the author, there is a lot of brain wasting in the American education systems. This is clearly seen among the college educated immigrants who make up the highest percentages of the unemployed youths (MacIntyr & Devaele, 2014). According to the author, the tragedy of having skilled internationally educated immigrants working on low wage jobs, the entire nation loses on revenues (MacIntyr & Devaele, 2014).
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Through the community colleges in the United States, students learning English as a Second Language should be prepared for integration in the American economic mainstream. ESL is a limitation that has seen a number of skilled foreigners go to waste in terms of provision of labor. To change and allow foreign student to be integrated in the national grid, there is more that should be done.
The system should be focused on improving the credit and non credit courses as well as the short-term vocational certificates (MacIntyr & Devaele, 2014). This will ultimately allow the immigrants to improve their English speaking proficiency hence improving their opportunities for getting better jobs. In addition, ESL learners are better positioned to join graduate schools or acquire professional licensure in the U.S. when their language proficiency is improved.
According to the author, many emigrant students do not understand the need for a two year community college education. Most of them pursue their degree programs and forget about learning the only thing that defines their qualification as viable American employees. Proficiency in English transforms their degree educations into a competent qualification in the American job market. In the entire article, the author insists on the importance of having the two years of English proficiency education for ESL learners.
My response to the article
I think English proficiency must be emphasized in schools in order to achieve the greatest academic gains. In my opinion, students with Low English Proficiency have a right to receive training in English. This will allow a fair learning and employment competition between immigrants and the native speakers. Evidently, the training period for English proficiency programs in some schools is not sufficient. More time should be allocated for ESL programs in all schools in order to ensure that there is fair competition. However, the challenge to communicate and converse in English is not the only problem that immigrant students face in America.
Social and cultural shock is one of the biggest problems the students face. As noted in the article, community colleges are supposed to train and integrate immigrants into the general system of the American economy.
However, this should not be limited to education and English proficiency but also on cultural integration. Students need more time to be fully integrated in the American system and social setting. If this is not done, the long-term implications will result in unfair competition. Immigrants will have difficulties in securing an employment after they are through with their degree programs. A two year program cannot cause a significant delay on immigrants’ scheduled years of studying.
If quality and accuracy is the focus of the ESL programs, I believe students can improve their language in two years and thereafter they can join the mainstream classes to pursue their career subjects. Therefore, I think these programs should emphasis on offering quality training to enhance immigrants’ proficiency in English. This will be vital if fair competition is to be achieved in the job market.
MacIntyre, P., & Devaele, J. M. (2014). The two faces of Janys? Anxiety and enjoyment in the foreign language classroom. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 5(2), 237-274.