Hogar Hispano recently opened a computer lab to help immigrants get connected to the Internet, learn keyboarding skills and to improve their English language skills with the use of software and by visiting English as a Second Language (ESL) sites. These skills are vital to immigrants, who know the training will increase their opportunities to obtain meaningful employment. Access to the Internet also allows immigrants to keep in touch with what's happening in their native countries and with their loved ones, reducing the isolation and loneliness that so many feel after they move to the United States.
The lab, located at Hogar Hispano's main office in Falls Church contains 11 Pentium computers that are networked and online! Classes are offered weekdays. Students are learning how to access the Internet, and are utilizing software (Mavis Beacon Typing and the Rosetta Stone) to improve their keyboarding and English language skills. Volunteer and staff instructors are currently designing a curriculum that will specifically address the needs of the immigrant population, many whom have no previous computer skills. This curriculum will focus on the skills that are essential in today's job market.
The computer classes are extremely popular with our ESL students and we hope to soon be able to offer additional classes and to offer lab hours so that students can come in and practice on the computers in their free time.