The English Now! Project (funded from 2017 to 2020 by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and led by World Education, Inc., in partnership with P2PU) tested the P2PU learning circle model as a way to serve English language learners who were on waiting lists for English classes. The project refined and scaled the P2PU model to provide low-cost, effective, and sustainable English language learning opportunities for adults. Learning circle facilitators assisted learners in accessing online and mobile-app–based English language learning resources and used wrap-around discussion and group activities to build community as well as learners’ language and leadership skills.
English Now! has been piloted in fifteen adult education programs in ten states through community-based organizations, labor-management programs, libraries, and community colleges. These programs offered learning circles to:
- serve adults on ESOL program waiting lists;
- provide face-to-face group support for adults engaged in self-paced online learning;
- and connect with prospective learners who, for a variety of reasons, could not access a traditional class-based program.
Several programs found that learning circle participants who later attended ESOL classes were better prepared for those classes and had higher retention rates than other students. The English Now! Facilitator’s Guide offers step-by-step guidance in facilitating a learning circle for English language learners.
Six libraries are invited to pilot one of the promising practices with support from the P3 team.