top NCL graphic
  facebook icon

  twitter icon


  blog icon

  flickr icon

  email icon

  rss icon


  capitol photo

Facts | Fact Sheets

English Language Learning


  • Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. speaks a language other than English at home, and more than 17 million speak English less than “very well.” (U.S. Census Bureau (2003). Language Use and English-Speaking Ability: 2000.)
  • Low skilled workers with limited English proficiency must improve their English language literacy as well as improve their educational levels in order to reap economic benefits from training programs.

  • One-third of foreign-born persons in the U.S. do not have a high school diploma, and approximately 17.8 million adults are limited English proficient.

  • Over 1 million adults took English as a Second Language classes in state and federally funded programs in 2007 (NCES, Digest of Education Statistics).

Fact Sheets 

Migration Policy Institute Data Hub: Migration facts, stats, and maps
This interactive map from the Migration Policy Institute provides national and state-by-state data on foreign born by state. Click a state to generate fact sheets about the demographic and social, language and education, workforce, and income and poverty characteristics.

Migration Policy Institute’s NCIIP Data Resources and Policy-Focused Research on Immigrant Adult Literacy and Workforce Training Needs
Adult English language, literacy and workforce development are all critical elements of an immigrant integration agenda. Fifty-one per cent of immigrants are limited English proficient. Our nation may need to provide 227 million hours of instruction per year to help lawful permanent residents (LPRs) become English proficient—1.6 billion hours over 6 years. Review this slide presentation for more facts. Learn about research resources available through the Migration Policy Institute.


BrowseAloud image dollar general literacy foundation logo southwest image
National Coalition for Literacy Home
National Coalition for Literacy PO Box 2932 Washington, DC 20013-2932