Creating a Language Bridge:
Our students are primarily immigrant groups residing in the New York City/ Tri State region.
By offering ESL and world language classes in houses of worship, community centers, schools, and online, we help integrate immigrants into American society. At the same time we apply our efforts towards insuring native languages remain alive and well for first generation Americans and beyond. Our language classes help bridge a linguistic generation gap found within many of America’s immigrant communities.
About Language and Culture in America
The United States is a nation of immigrants, and the only true indigenous people are American Indians. Most Americans came from non-English speaking countries. Due to financial pressures, immigrants were often unable to transmit their native language to their children. Very few of America’s ethnic groups are still fluent in their native languages. Native Americans also struggle to keep their native tongue from going extinct.
Many countries in the world, however, thrive in the multilingual model and support bi-lingual education in houses of worship, schools and within society in general. In these countries, ethnic groups can use their native language in day to day life along side the official state language that unites their states and provinces.
21st century America is currently experiencing huge growth in diverse immigrant populations. Many of these ethnic groups are familiar with the multilingual model. They understand that English is the defacto national language of the United States and want to learn. At the same time, for reasons of ethnic pride and identity, America’s newest immigrants also strive to keep their native languages alive and well for their children. Often times however, they don’t have the expertise and resources to do both. That’s where World Language Exchange comes in. We are passionate about our mission and we are affordable for the common hard working immigrant family.
Earlier waves of immigrants were almost expected to give up their native tongue in lieu of English. It was the most expedient way to solve the “problem.” But World Language Exchange does not see the bilingual challenge as a “problem” per se and we don't believe this is the choice we must make in 21st century America. For example, in working with World Language Exchange, it is now possible and encouraged for immigrant parents and grandparents to study English while their first generation American children take up a formal study of their ancestral language. World Language Exchange is playing a positive role in bridging the generation gap.
World Language Exchange advocates for the teaching of not only the world’s most popular languages but the world’s least popular languages---languages that are in danger of going extinct. We are particularly interested in starting classes in American Indian languages. We are currently seeking partners from American Indian tribes. We wish to make our contribution towards the preservation of American Indian language and culture.