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About half of legal residents (an estimated 5.8 million people) in the United States need English instruction before they can pass the naturalization test (Migration Policy Institute).
The path to citizenship can be thwarted by low literacy skills. Our goal and the goal of countless citizenship programs is to assist motivated, law-abiding adults to successfully complete their naturalization application.
Whether filling out the application form, studying civic questions, or completing the interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), literacy is a vital skill. However, literacy is not just about passing exams or interviews. Citizenship literacy is really about communication, cross-cultural skills, and engagement in civic life.
To be eligible for naturalization, one must be able to read, write, and speak basic English. Citizenship literacy classes help adults prepare to complete the literacy portion of the exam by practicing basic vocabulary and sentence structure.
The civics test is an oral test, and it is crafted to reflect the essence of what it means to be an American citizen. Classes prepare students to answer civics questions that cover basic U.S. history and knowledge of American government.
An investment in literacy makes an enormous difference in the speed and degree to which immigrants can participate and contribute to American society. Discussions and lessons in American culture provide tools and experiences that ease the transition to citizenship.