English as a Second Language

One of the most significant challenges to employment for refugees and immigrants can be limited English proficiency. Refugees with low native language literacy skills and little formal education often face the greatest barriers to learning English.  Limited English skills can mean a refugee or immigrant is unable to find employment or has limited opportunities for a living wage job. The ability to communicate in English increases opportunities to obtain higher wage jobs and integrate more easily into local communities.  LEP Pathway's ESL services provide participants with work-related English language training to enhance their employability.

ESL contractors utilize the Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) to access an individual's English language proficiency for listening and reading, and other tests to assess speaking and writing proficiency. ESL level 1 indicates the participant's English proficiency skills are at the low end of the scale, and higher ESL levels indicate higher English proficiencies.

If the assessment determines that the participant has limited English proficiency, the participant is referred to the LEP Pathway for employment and ESL services. ORIA contracts with local community colleges and community based organizations to develop employment related curriculum and training materials and provide ESL classroom instruction to participants who have been assessed to ESL levels 1-6.

ORIA ESL Program Manager Contact Information:

Ashley Mai
(206) 568-5808
ashley.mai@dshs.wa.gov

Click here for English as-a-Second-Languagetraining providers.