Out of the Shadows, Into the Classroom:
Executive Action on Immigration and the Impact on Adult Education

2014_BillBlissBill Bliss

President Obama’s recently announced executive actions on immigration have a potentially significant impact on many of the students we serve. The actions include expansion of the population of young people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, implementation of a new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program for the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have been present in the United States since January 1, 2010, waivers from deportation for spouses and children of permanent residents and for children of U.S. citizens, and proposed changes to immigrant visa policies to expand opportunities for skilled workers and entrepreneurs. READ MORE

A Book for the Future American Citizen

Maria del Carmen AmadoReview by Maria del Carmen Amado
Manager/Editor, Westchester Hispano General

Immigrants who live in the U.S. often want to obtain American citizenship so they can be part of their new country. To do so, they must prepare for the U.S. citizenship test, and familiarize themselves with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) interview process.

To assist immigrants with this process, three experienced professionals from Pearson have developed a program called Future U.S. Citizens. This book/DVD program is specially designed to help immigrants who decide to apply for U.S. citizenship to pass the test.  The program combines lessons with interactive practice and is aligned with the current process required by the USCIS. Continue reading

The New N-400 Citizenship Application and Our Students


As of May 5, 2014, the new N-400 form is required for all applications for U.S. citizenship.  The form is longer than the previous one, it adds to the personal information required about marital status and children, it asks several more questions to comply with recent federal legislation related to terrorism and child soldiers, and it therefore has some important implications for the instruction we offer our students who are preparing for their naturalization interview and citizenship exam.  Since a USCIS officer evaluates an applicant’s English speaking ability during the course of the interview, and since the interview focuses on verifying information on the N-400 form, it’s important for our students to be prepared to explain the information they have provided.

(An important note:  Eligibility requirements for citizenship have not changed, and the requirements to demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history, government, and civics have not changed.  Only the application form itself has changed, which therefore has implications for the language our students may need to talk about their application during the interview.)  READ MORE

Tax Time!


Here are three quotes appropriate for the month of April:

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

“Why did the colonists fight the British?  Because of high taxes – taxation without representation.”

“When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?  April 15.”

The first was penned by Benjamin Franklin in 1789.  The second and third are among the 100 official questions and answers on the US citizenship exam. READ MORE

Mandela and King:
A Lesson for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. never met and they lived at opposite ends of the world, but their paths of struggle for civil rights in South Africa and the United States intersect as two of the twentieth century’s most important achievements in advancing human rights and freedom.  As the holiday commemorating Dr. King approaches, it is a compelling time to consider the contributions of both of these extraordinary leaders.

A WebQuest

Here is an online research activity students can do to explore the lives and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.  Students can work on their own or with a partner or small group to find the answers to these questions and then share as a class.  Through this activity, they will discover some of the ways in which these two leaders had similar views and shared similar experiences during their remarkable lifetimes.  READ MORE