Our great city of Boston and its surrounding towns are home to some of the finest educational institutions in the world, as well as to a population that is rich with culture and diversity. As of 2009, over a quarter of Boston’s population are immigrants who left their native countries in search of opportunity and a better life. New immigrants often have difficulties speaking English, and the resulting language barrier creates the risk of preventing immigrants from obtaining licenses and jobs, even when they already have the required skills. As a result, immigrants with limited English proficiency are left with low-wage jobs and often live below the poverty line. Research has found that immigrants with a high degree of English proficiency earn three times more than those with low English proficiency. There are an estimated 150,916 immigrants in Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Chelsea and Malden who claim to speak English “less than very well.”
Poor English proficiency can also affect the children of immigrants as a parent’s limited English language proficiency can hamper their ability to communicate effectively with their children and help with their children’s English language-related homework.
All statistics found here.