How Penn Foster High School Supports Spanish-Speaking Learners

Posted by Des Sinkevich on May 30, 2023

There are 41 million people in the United States whose first – and often, only – language is Spanish. Learning English is a goal and a necessity for many of these Spanish speakers, but there are few resources in a traditional school setting to help them develop the language skills that can be key to future success. For those hoping to earn a high school diploma through untraditional methods, the language barrier can prevent learners from truly absorbing, understanding, and retaining what they’re supposed to be learning. One solution can be combining English language skills with an online high school curriculum.


Offering a high school diploma program for English learners

One-sixth of the American workforce is made up of people from other nations, but the United States is currently able to assist only 4% of non-English speaking adults. For companies who need to retain and upskill employees, English proficiency represents a significant challenge.

In order to help this underserved population, Penn Foster is launching a new high school program for English-as-a-second-language students. This program, our High School Diploma + English Language Training, is designed to teach English and improve English-speaking proficiency online before learners proceed to the traditional high school curriculum. Through a partnership with EnGen, a virtual language upskilling platform, learners will have personalized English language training as part of their standard coursework.

This unique partnership helps learners achieve two building blocks for success: a high school diploma, and English proficiency.

How Spanish-speaking students can learn English online

As part of the high school diploma program, Penn Foster will use resources from EnGen to gauge English proficiency and provide interactive courses designed to improve English literacy and speech. Here’s how it works:

  1. After enrollment, learners will take an English proficiency assessment to gauge how much they need to learn.
  2. After the assessment, learners who fall between proficiency levels 1 to 4 will take English language courses through EnGen. These interactive courses are designed to build English skills and confidence before proceeding to the Penn Foster High School curriculum.
  3. Learners will take proficiency exams throughout their EnGen experience to reassess their skill level. If learners still fall between levels 1 to 4, they’ll be provided with more coursework to continue learning and improving their English. Those who test at a level 5 or 6 are then able to move onto their Penn Foster courses.
  4. Learners will have up to 6 months of access to EnGen English courses so they can continue to improve while working toward their high school diploma.

Spanish-speaking learners will first build proficiency and confidence in their English language skills before progressing to the high school course work in order to ensure they are prepared for the curriculum and can confidently study and pass exams.

Preparing Spanish-speaking learners for success

A high school diploma is essential to furthering education, finding a good job, and advancing a career. But with little opportunity to confidently complete an English-only high school curriculum, non-English speakers are often left behind. In order to prepare your learners for success, offering an opportunity to improve their English while earning a high school diploma can be vital.

Through Penn Foster’s online High School Diploma + English Language Training, learners will improve their English proficiency and work toward graduation on a flexible timeline, ensuring they complete the program with the skills they need to take the next steps toward improving their future. Your organization can make a difference for those learning English as a second language – and increase the likelihood that these learners will find stable, well-paying jobs or matriculate to higher education.

Interested in learning more about how Penn Foster and EnGen can help learners earn their high school diploma? Reach out to one of our training experts today!