Our core programs are ENGLISH, U.S. CITIZENSHIP & CIVICS, BILINGUAL COMPUTER, and LITERACY & ADULT BASIC EDUCATION in Spanish. The focus is on teaching adult students essential literacy and communication skills. We offer seven 5-week sessions throughout the year. Core programs are open to adults over 18, although we will sometimes make exceptions for teenagers if an adult signs a release form. Current sessions are:
- September 26 – October 29, 2016
- November 7 – December 10, 2016
- January 9 – February 11, 2017
- February 20 – March 25, 2017
- April 3 – May 6, 2017
- May 15 – June 17, 2017
July 17 – August 19, 2017(canceled so we can set up in our new space for fall session)
“I like DTL because I am learning how to talk and write English more clearly. The teacher is very professional. I feel like I am learning how to speak in English.” — José from Mexico, ESL 2
Our English program focuses on teaching adult students essential communication skills for their daily lives. The program is designed to be practical and help adult immigrants of all nationalities adjust to living in the United States. The schedule and curriculum, which changes each session, allow students to enroll quickly and attend multiple sessions in each level of English before advancing to the next. We teach three levels of English ranging from beginning English literacy to an intermediate level of English conversation and grammar: ESL Readiness, ESL Level 1, ESL Level 2. Classes meet M/W/F, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Fee: $35.
U.S. Citizenship and Civics
Many immigrants are eligible to become citizens of the United States, and therefore, need to learn the history and civics of this country. Our convenient schedule and proven curriculum help prepare community members to successfully pass the citizenship exam. This class uses materials provided by the Department of Homeland Security, as well as other resources, to help students navigate current citizenship application and interview requirements. The course also covers the birth of our nation, the branches of government, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Class meets Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Fee: $35.
Computers are an essential part of everyday life, but for many of our students they remain intimidating and inaccessible, especially when the programs and keyboards are in a language they are still working to acquire. Our bilingual computer classes are taught in Spanish and English, providing a comfortable way to begin learning English computer vocabulary, and to develop “hands-on” experience with the kinds of computers and software they will find in the workplace, or that their children use in school. Downtown Languages offers beginning and intermediate level computer classes that are designed for working adults who have little or no experience with computers. The outcomes of the class include:
- Basic keyboarding
- Using the Internet and e-mail
- Filling out job applications online
- Word processing to create flyers, calendars, and résumés
The practical nature of the class, along with the combined technology and language skills approach, makes it especially useful for adult learners. Class meets Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Fee: $35.
Literacy and Adult Basic Education
Many adults from Latin America now living in the United States began working at a very young age in their home countries. Unable to complete their basic education, they arrive with limited literacy in Spanish or in their indigenous language. Research shows that literacy in one’s primary language significantly improves the ability to acquire and master another language. Downtown Languages places great value on the development and preservation of our students’ primary language skills. We offer a holistic program that addresses the unique needs of these learners and gives them a pathway to further their education. Our literacy classes are taught by caring and patient professional language educators. Students improve their skills and gain the confidence they need to reach their personal, academic, and career goals. Classes are FREE! and include the following:
- Adult Basic Education in Spanish / Primaria y secundaria en español This course is designed for native Spanish speakers who have little or no primary education. Students develop reading, writing, basic math, and other fundamental learning skills in a supportive, engaging environment. Students quickly gain confidence and improve their skills sufficient to enter a program to earn their primary and secondary diplomas.
- Plaza Comunitaria Downtown Languages is the official Lane County site for the Plaza Comunitaria, an extension of the Mexican public education system that offers students the opportunity to obtain their official primary or secondary diploma through Internet-based study modules. Although the Plaza is set up as an independent-study program, Downtown Languages provides instructors to mentor students as they work their way through the program. Students develop traditional and computer literacy as they work at their own pace in Spanish to earn their Mexican diplomas. Students who earn a secondary diploma through the Plaza are well prepared to begin a GED program.
- GED Readiness This class helps native Spanish speakers refresh or acquire the math, reading, and writing skills needed to enroll in General Educational Development (GED) classes. The class is taught by a bilingual educator who provides individualized attention to the students.
These classes meet Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon (for students at elementary school level), and 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (for students at junior high level and preparing to enter a GED program). Fee: FREE.