E.g., 06/12/2024
E.g., 06/12/2024
Language Access

Language Access

The phrase "language access services" describes services that agencies use to bridge the communication barrier with individuals who cannot speak, understand, read, or write  fluently in the host-country language. In the United States, federal law and executive orders mandate compliance with language access requirements for any agency receiving federal funds. Explore MPI's research in this area and visit the Language Access: Translation and Interpretation Policies and Practices section for national and state-level data on LEP individuals, commentaries by service providers, and more.

Recent Activity

A loan officer in Kenya.
Venezuelan migrants charge their phones and other devices at a power point in Boa Vista, Brazil.
Cover imgage for ESSER brief
Policy Briefs
July 2023
By  Jazmin Flores Peña, Julie Sugarman and Lorena Mancilla
A displaced Ukrainian in Prague.
Articles
Cover image for Recommendations for the Task Force on New Americans
Policy Briefs
March 2023
By  Margie McHugh, Jacob Hofstetter, Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, Valerie Lacarte, Maki Park, Delia Pompa and Julie Sugarman
Photo of a preschool teacher reading to students.
Commentaries
November 2022
By  Jacob Hofstetter, Alexis Fintland and Maki Park
A view of Barcelona.

Pages

Cover imgage for ESSER brief
Policy Briefs
July 2023
By  Jazmin Flores Peña, Julie Sugarman and Lorena Mancilla
Cover image for Recommendations for the Task Force on New Americans
Policy Briefs
March 2023
By  Margie McHugh, Jacob Hofstetter, Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, Valerie Lacarte, Maki Park, Delia Pompa and Julie Sugarman
Image of an infographic showing key DLL stats
Fact Sheets
October 2022
By  Ivana Tú Nhi Giang and Maki Park
Cover image for Overlooked but Essential
Policy Briefs
October 2022
By  Maki Park, Jacob Hofstetter and Ivana Tú Nhi Giang
cover image for A Framework for Language Access: Key Features of U.S. State and Local Language Access Laws and Policies
Reports
October 2021
By  Jacob Hofstetter, Margie McHugh and Anna O’Toole
Educating English Learners during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Policy Ideas for States and School Districts
Policy Briefs
September 2020
By  Julie Sugarman and Melissa Lazarin

Pages

A loan officer in Kenya.

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

Venezuelan migrants charge their phones and other devices at a power point in Boa Vista, Brazil.

While smartphones and other technologies can assist decision-making, they do not always improve migrants’ journeys or lives. Forcibly displaced populations can face barriers in the form of limited internet access and low levels of digital literacy. Digital tools may also expose them to government surveillance and raise anxiety about social relations with loved ones. This article underscores refugees' complex relationships with technology.

A displaced Ukrainian in Prague.

High-skilled immigration represents a potential major benefit to Czechia, which has undergone rapid economic growth since the transition from communism. The arrival of hundreds of thousands of new Ukrainians, many of whom are well educated, marks a moment for the country to re-evaluate its integration policies, as this article details.

A view of Barcelona.

Spain has an unconventional immigration system. The national government is primarily responsible for border control, granting legal status to migrants, and other issues, but integration is mostly handled by regional and local governments, allowing for some pioneering policies at the subnational level. This article explores what this system has meant for Catalonia and its capital, Barcelona, which have been considered to be a model throughout Europe.

Two U.S. educators discuss dual-language instruction.

Immigrant integration is a complicated process that cannot fully be measured by any single metric. Understandings of immigrant integration have changed over time, and this article explores how the methods of measuring integration outcomes have evolved alongside these changing frameworks.

Pages

USDA language access services website screenshot
Video, Audio
October 11, 2023

White House and Department of Health and Human Services officials join a leading language access advocate and MPI's Margie McHugh in a conversation exploring executive-branch efforts related to language access provision, upcoming actions, and opportunities to improve the provision of information and services in languages other than English in federal programs.

Kindergarten girl raises hand
Video, Audio
October 12, 2022

Language access policies and services are critical to promoting the equitable participation of Dual Language Learners and their families in early childhood programs, yet there are persisting participation gaps. This webinar outlines federal and state efforts to implement language access policies in the early childhood field, along with opportunities to improve language services.

Video, Audio
October 21, 2021

On this webinar, MPI researchers examine common features and notable areas of innovation they found in a scan of state and local language access laws and policies in more than 40 states, along with practical insights that local governments can employ as they face growing linguistic diversity in their communities. 

EventPH 2015.6.18 Rethinking the age of superdiversity flickr street sellars, ferrara
Video, Audio
June 18, 2015

Covering the findings of the UPSTREAM project, this MPI Europe event explores how a coordinated approach to integration may create more effective and inclusive approaches to diversity across the policy-making spectrum.

EventPH 2015.3.18 Cross Cutting Needs and Opportunities flickrNewYorkPublicLibrary
Video, Audio
March 18, 2015

Part of a series exploring issues likely to be addressed by the new National Integration Plan, this webinar, with perspectives from the cities of New York and Seattle and others examines possible recommendations on federal coordination of local government immigrant integration initiatives, including language access. 

Pages

Recent Activity

Articles

Credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial services are often critical in order to fully participate in the modern world. Yet many refugees and other forced migrants have trouble obtaining these seemingly simple tools, preventing them from full integration. This article outlines humanitarian migrants’ needs for financial services and the barriers that can arise.

Video, Audio, Webinars
October 11, 2023

White House and Department of Health and Human Services officials join a leading language access advocate and MPI's Margie McHugh in a conversation exploring executive-branch efforts related to language access provision, upcoming actions, and opportunities to improve the provision of information and services in languages other than English in federal programs.

Articles

While smartphones and other technologies can assist decision-making, they do not always improve migrants’ journeys or lives. Forcibly displaced populations can face barriers in the form of limited internet access and low levels of digital literacy. Digital tools may also expose them to government surveillance and raise anxiety about social relations with loved ones. This article underscores refugees' complex relationships with technology.

Policy Briefs
July 2023

The pandemic and move to remote learning affected students across the United States, and certain groups—including the nation’s 5 million English Learners (ELs)—were hit particularly hard. At the same time, the federal government made unprecedented investments in public K-12 education to counter the pandemic’s adverse impacts. This issue brief explores the ways school districts have invested these funds to support ELs.

Articles

High-skilled immigration represents a potential major benefit to Czechia, which has undergone rapid economic growth since the transition from communism. The arrival of hundreds of thousands of new Ukrainians, many of whom are well educated, marks a moment for the country to re-evaluate its integration policies, as this article details.

Policy Briefs
March 2023

The Task Force on New Americans launched by the Biden administration represents an important occasion to deepen understanding of immigrant integration issues and to identify ways to address them. MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, which has long argued for the need to create such an office within the White House, has developed recommendations for the task force in key areas, drawing from its extensive record of research, policy analysis, and technical assistance.

Commentaries
November 2022

Shortages of workers continue to plague early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems across the United States. With the field already struggling to effectively serve young children in families that speak languages other than English, apprenticeship programs offer a promising solution to bring more—and more multilingual—workers into early childhood careers.

Articles

Spain has an unconventional immigration system. The national government is primarily responsible for border control, granting legal status to migrants, and other issues, but integration is mostly handled by regional and local governments, allowing for some pioneering policies at the subnational level. This article explores what this system has meant for Catalonia and its capital, Barcelona, which have been considered to be a model throughout Europe.

Pages