Day labor centers often run into issues where Spanish-speaking laborers are looking for work and trying to navigate the U.S. workplace, but it’s difficult for them because of the language barrier. These are terrific workers with a vast amount of skills, but they may feel that they’re being held back or that they’re unable to find jobs where they would thrive.
Fortunately, The book “English for Day Laborers and Construction Workers,” written by attorney David Klein, can do a lot of the heavy lifting in showing these workers how to get through the system easily. This book most recently began being used by the Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network in Bryan, Texas. But the book is used by nonprofits all across the country, where is often provided for free simply to help workers in ways that can change their lives forever. Just a few of these non-profits include Nani Migrante Transnational Project, El Sol, the Underground Construction Company, the Center for Immigrant Education of Louisiana and English of North Georgia.
How the book works
The book was designed for ESL classes, which are classes where people learn how to speak English as a second language. But one of the major advantages is that this book is centered around day laborers and construction workers. It focuses on the things that they need to know in their everyday life.
Challenges can include things like finding a job or just communicating with coworkers. This is a fully bilingual book, and it provides simple exercises to help workers improve their vocabulary and their English skills in general. It can be used in a classroom, but it can also be useful in a one-on-one setting for a worker who is trying to advance their career.
The focus on labor is what makes this so valuable. Many English classes can be helpful, but workers may feel that they start out by learning things that don’t really change the day-to-day complications they’re experiencing. This book helps to address those things first, giving them a basis in English that can improve their lives instantly. This use of English can then expand from there, but workers get what they really need at the very beginning.
The workplace can be complicated for immigrants and others who speak English as a second language, and it’s important for all of them to know about the different options they have.