Skitch makes sharing annotated pics easier for iPhone and iPad

Skitch’s share screen for iOS just got a makeover, making it easier to send out and save your annotated, doodle-filled masterpieces. The latest iOS update now shows a preview of your image on the Share screen, where you can type in and attach a…

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/-mOaHIxzDKY/
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Macworld|iWorld 2014: iSkelter brings a new twist to computer furniture

iSkelter’s computer furniture is designed with the Mac and iOS user in mind – cutouts help you hold your iPhone, iPad, laptop and other accessories in place. What’s more, it’s all made out of compressed bamboo – strong, durable and sustainable. Funded by Kickstarter, iSkelter showed off their latest wares at Macworld|iWorld 2014 including a new desk that’s available in either sitting or standing configurations.


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The most beautiful speedboat ever made still feels from the future

The most beautiful speedboat ever made still feels from the future

This is the Ferrari Arno XI Racing Hydroplane and is, without a doubt, the most beautiful speedboat ever made. Its 1953 Flash Gordon design still feels beautiful today. It’s not only a design masterpieces. It’s an incredible machine too.

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Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/ZQalhs_pdv8/@jesusdiaz
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UFC 167 fight card: What’s at stake?

There are a few questions heading into UFC 167, but none of them alarmist (at least not yet). The last two UFC pay-per-views have deeply underperformed, but the question is whether that’s due to something specific and fleeting or a larger climate affecting buy rates. St-Pierre seems to be a good barometer of whether there are systemic problems or if the aforementioned under performing pay-per-view events had their individual crosses to bear.

By all accounts, this event should be and already is a smashing success. What UFC must be wondering is what will replace GSP once he leaves. Even if the rumors of him retiring after this fight are premature and misinformed, that day is eventually coming. We’re closer to that now than ever. The reality is GSP cannot be both a once-in-a-generation talent and also replaceable, certainly not among his peers in his weight class.

So, UFC will have a very strong weekend with this event, as well they should. It’s a celebration of all they’ve achieved and they’re showcasing their finest talent to date in honor of it. It’s a moment in time they should relish. But even with all the success, we cannot shy away from what’s ahead or what could be brewing. Maybe it’s something to worry about. Perhaps it is not. Either way, however, it’s a reality UFC must confront once the lights are down in Las Vegas after this Saturday night.


Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks

At stake: welterweight greatness. We’re talking about two different levels of greatness given the two positions these fighters find themselves in.

First, GSP. With a win over Hendricks, he can make the case he has defeated three generations of welterweights, which might be one of the most difficult feats to pull off in all of mixed martial arts. It’s true Anderson Silva has wins over top 5 opposition in three weight classes, but part of the reason he jumped to the third weight class was due to the thinness of the space where he resided as champion. Welterweight is arguably MMA’s toughest division. To have defeated the very best as the arise, decline or ultimately leave the sport – if GSP can pull it off – should go done as one of MMA’s more remarkable accomplishments in any organization by any athlete in any era.

A loss for the current welterweight king would also, at least temporarily, remove the possibility of retiring the champion, another feat that gets short shrift among the MMA community, but is exceedingly difficult.

GSP’s resume is in tact. He’s a first ballot hall of famer, so to speak, and what he’s already accomplished won’t soon be repeated. But to reach surpassing levels of greatness, defeating Hendricks is required in the process.

As for the challenger, there’s no need to belabor the point. Becoming welterweight champion is of paramount value and to do so by defeating that division’s best competitor is a career maker. A loss isn’t the worst thing in the world, but does put him back in what is a very difficult queue to find advancing opportunities.

Rashad Evans vs. Chael Sonnen

At stake: relevancy. Do these fighters still matter and if so, to what extent? ‘Matters’ is a loaded term, of course, and there are degrees to which they can be relevant. They’re both grasping for contender status, which seems unlikely no matter the outcome (at least in this weight class). What’s more pressing is a level down: a fighter with name value capable of being in big fights, but not on a title track exactly. What they’re looking to prove here is they’re still worth your entertainment dollar and capable of being in relevant fights opposite respectable opposition.

Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler

At stake: welterweight contendership. This one is straightforward. These two are gunning for a title shot. I don’t know if they’d get one directly from a victory in this contest, but neither is too far away. Lawler is the elder statesman of sorts (despite not being old) opposite MacDonald’s new hipster MMA fighter, but both are potential viable candidates to fight for the welterweight crown in the not too distant future. Both also present big challenges to the other in terms of relevant tests of their abilities. A loss for MacDonald is more forgivable given how time is a little kinder to his chances, but Lawler needs to get busy and he needs to do right away. This is about striking while the iron is hot because it may not stay that temperature for very long.

Josh Koscheck vs. Tyron Woodley

At stake: do or do not; there is no ‘try’. This is partly about relevancy, but less so than with MacDonald and Lawler. Koscheck has reached close to what is the pinnacle of the sport, but is on the other side of his athletic prime and needs to demonstrate he’s still at least a viable welterweight. Woodley hasn’t yet done much climbing and after a lot of hype as well as hope that someone as talented and athletic as he would pan out, needs to prove that faith in him was not misplaced.

Tim Elliott vs. Ali Bagautinov

At stake: flyweight contendership. There are three basic functions to this bout. First, given its placement, it’s expected to deliver as a pay-per-view opener (and it should). Second, is Elliott a real contender or is Bagautinov the surging prospect? This fight will help us further understand each fighter’s respective placement. Last, but certainly not least, the UFC is slowly putting together a roster of fighters from Russia and former Soviet satellite states both because there’s lots of talent to grab and for the long-term prospect of entering the market. Maybe – just maybe – Bagautinov can help further and be a part of that process.

Source: http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/11/16/5108078/ufc-167-fight-card-whats-at-stake
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Photo in Vietnam shows mammal unseen for 15 years

This photo taken in 1993 and released by WWF shows a Saola in Vietnam when it was captured. It was one of two Saola captured alive in central Vietnam, but both died months later in captivity. Saola, one of the rarest and most threatened mammals on earth has been caught on camera in Vietnam for the first time in 15 years in September in central Vietnam, renewing hope for the recovery of the species, international conservation group WWF said Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/WWF)

This photo taken in 1993 and released by WWF shows a Saola in Vietnam when it was captured. It was one of two Saola captured alive in central Vietnam, but both died months later in captivity. Saola, one of the rarest and most threatened mammals on earth has been caught on camera in Vietnam for the first time in 15 years in September in central Vietnam, renewing hope for the recovery of the species, international conservation group WWF said Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/WWF)

This Sept. 7, 2013 photo released by WWF, shows the Saola in a forest in Vietnam. The Saola, a long-horned ox, one of the rarest and most threatened mammals on earth has been caught on camera in Vietnam for the first time in 15 years, renewing hope for the recovery of the species, the international conservation group said, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/WWF)

(AP) — A camera trap in a forest in central Vietnam has managed to snap a photo of one of earth’s rarest mammals, the saola, which hadn’t been seen in 15 years.

The antelope-like, long-horned ox appears to walk through dense foliage at the edge of the camera’s range in the image taken in September. Conservation group WWF released the image along with a statement Wednesday.

“This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species,” Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF’s Vietnam director, was quoted as saying.

The animal was discovered in remote mountains near Laos in 1992 when a joint team of WWF and Vietnam’s forest control agency found a skull with unusual horns in a hunter’s home. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years, according to the WWF.

Two saola were captured in central Vietnam in 1993 but died in captivity after several months.

The last sighting of a saola in the wild was in 1998, according to Dang Dinh Nguyen, director of a saola nature reserve in Vietnam’s central province of Quang Nam.

In the area where the saola was photographed, WWF has recruited forest guards locally to remove snares and battle illegal hunting, the greatest threat to saolas’ survival, the statement said. The snares had been set largely to catch other animals, such as deer and civets, which are a delicacy in Vietnam.

Twenty years since they were first known to science, the elusive mammals remain hard to detect and little is known about them.

At best, no more than few hundred, and maybe only a few dozen, live in the remote, dense forests along Vietnam’s border with Laos, WWF said.

Associated PressSource: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/b2f0ca3a594644ee9e50a8ec4ce2d6de/Article_2013-11-13-Vietnam-Rare%20Mammal/id-be18bc3407914b16a28a58980e95787d
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The all new iMore for iOS 7 app is here! Download now!

The all new iMore for iOS 7 app is here! Download now!

iMore 3.0 for iPhone puts all the best Apple related news, how-tos, app and accessory reviews, podcasts, and more in the palm of your hand!

When Apple introduced iOS 7 back at WWDC 2013, the new look and new experience forced a lot of developers to put their update plans on hold and scramble to rethink and redesign their apps to fit into the brave, bold new world. That’s precisely what happened to us with the iMore for iPhone app. Rebuilt practically from scratch, iMore for iPhone 3.0 is now iOS 7 native in every sense of the word, and we can’t wait for you to try it!

Now, some things have moved or changed in the transition. You can no longer re-arrange and customize tabs, because the tabs are gone and an iOS 7-style sidebar is in its place. Favorites are gone, as are options for Instapaper and Pocket, but iOS 7 Reading Lists is now supported. (We didn’t have time to re-add Instapaper and Pocket, but if you want it, let us know and we’ll include it in one of the next updates.) Podcasts are still there, of course, but we’re letting Control Center handle the persistent play, pause, skip, etc. duties.

What we’ve gained, however, is all shades of awesome. We’ve still got all the recent news, editorials, help and how-tos, app and accessory reviews, and podcasts you can handle, and a new feature section right on top so you can always, easily find the big stories. We’ve also got a screaming fast new display engine that feeds you articles pretty much as fast as you can get to them.

You can also still login with Twitter, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, as well as Mobile Nations Passport, and comment right from the app – now with avatars and new, nifty, threaded view. And you can still share via Messages, Mail, Twitter, and Facebook.

As to the future, yes, we’re busy working on dynamic fonts, push notifications, and on an iPad version. We’re also working on forum integration so that you can have all your iMore, all in one place. And that, still, is only the beginning.

If you have feedback for the tech team or want to report any bugs you might come across, please use this forums thread so we can track everything in one place:

We really appreciate all of the time and attention you give us, and we want to give you best app we can in return. So. download it, try it out, and let us know what you think!

Special thanks to our app developer, Neil Sainsbury, to our web developers Tom Kaminski and Steph Koenig, to Marc Edwards for our awesome new icon, to Silvia Gatta for making the Essence glyphs, and to Nick Arnott and all of our beta testers for their feedback.


Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheIphoneBlog/~3/zhNiNVXkey8/story01.htm
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This HTC Passive Speaker Costs $8,000

This HTC Passive Speaker Costs $8,000

If you’re looking for particularly decadent accessory for your HTC One, perhaps you’d be interested in a wonderfully elaborate gramophone-inspired passive speaker? If you’ve got $8,000 lying around, at any rate.

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Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/FN62_ripJVU/this-htc-passive-speaker-costs-8-000-1460730659
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Sales Take Center Stage: To Boost Morale, Companies Burst Into Song

Steve Young learned about industrial musicals when he started coming across compilations, like this one, in used record stores. (You definitely want to click to enlarge this.)

Courtesy Blast Books

Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about tractors: So the song could be used in what’s called an industrial musical.

These musicals were like Broadway shows, but they were written and performed for corporate sales meetings and conventions from the 1950s to the 1980s. The lyrics were all about the products being sold and how to sell them. Some of them were lavish and costly, even though they’d be performed only once.

And as ridiculous as the songs were, they were often written and performed by really talented people: John Kander and Fred Ebb, who wrote the songs for the musical Cabaret, did an industrial. And a few had lyrics by a young Sheldon Harnick, who co-wrote the songs for the Broadway hits Fiddler On The Roof, Fiorello! and She Loves Me.

Harnick and actor-singer John Russell performed in dozens of these musicals, and Steve Young has co-written a new book about the genre, called Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals.

Young is also a writer for The Late Show With David Letterman, where for a while he was the writer in charge of the regular feature “Dave’s Record Collection.”

Harnick, Russell and Young joined Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross to talk about the genre’s history.

Interview Highlights

On the history of industrial musicals

Young: These are musicals — often full, Broadway-style musicals — that were written for company conventions and sales meetings. They were never for the public to hear, they were only to educate and entertain and motivate the sales force so they would leave the business meeting going out revved up to sell more bathtubs or typewriters or tractors or insurance plans, or what have you.

… We’ve never had a full picture of how many shows were done. The souvenir records that I’ve been collecting are clearly the tiny minority of shows that were done, but I would say hundreds of companies were doing them over a period of decades.

On how each of them got involved or interested in industrial musicals, or “industrials”

Young: I’ve been a writer for The Letterman Show since the early ’90s, and when I got to the show I was asked if I could head up the old “Dave’s Record Collection” segment in which, on the show, Dave would hold up strange, unintentionally funny records, we’d hear a little clip, Dave would have a joke, we’d all go home heroes.

It’s a very professional, romantic ballad about a bathroom. … It’s extremely well done.

I was the one finding the strange records. And in these days, when there were still used record stores in the city, I would come home with William Shatner singing, or Hear How To Touch Type. I also started finding these very odd corporate artifacts that I didn’t really understand at first, but I would find myself singing these songs to myself days or weeks later and thinking, “Why is this song about diesel engines so catchy? Why am I still wandering around singing about my insurance man?”

And it was because they were fabulously well done, in many cases. It was a hidden part of the entertainment world, but with huge budgets [and] professionals doing their best work, oftentimes. And I just decided I had to find out about this myself, and I began collecting and going to record shows [and] calling record dealers.

Harnick: I started writing lyrics out of desperation. I was broke and wondering where my next job, my next meal was coming from, although I had had several successful revue songs on Broadway. And then I got a phone call from an advertising agency. They did industrials: They helped write them; they produced them. And they had an in-house writer, and it turned out that they were doing a new industrial, I think it was for the Shell gasoline company, and whoever the executive was did not like what he had read, so they decided to get somebody else. They knew my revue songs, so I got a call to do an industrial, and I had no idea what that was.

Russell: I came to New York to be an actor, and the first industrial I did was for Bell Telephone. And it was choreographed by a lovely man named Frank Wagner, who was my dance teacher. I auditioned and I got the job, and that’s what started me. That was in 1970, and over the next 25 years, I did 82 different industrial shows.

On the song “My Bathroom”

Young: This is from a 1969 American Standard convention show in Las Vegas and it was for the distributors of all of the American Standard bathroom fixtures. Many of the songs on the record are filled with details about the new line of shower stalls and tubs, but this was really more of an anthem, an ode to the business as a whole — why they do what they do.

And it’s a remarkable piece of work that I’ve been humming around the house for 20 years. And everybody who hears it is just floored by it, so I think it has some enduring value well beyond 1969 and the convention.

Harnick: It’s a very professional, romantic ballad about a bathroom. … It’s extremely well done.

On the difficulty of writing lyrics for the Ford Tractor Company

Harnick: I remember my heart sank when the company gave me the information that I was supposed to put in the song. I thought, “Oh, good gracious, how am I going to do this and make it a singable song?” But I managed, and I managed particularly because [composer] Jerry Bock was so clever at taking all of these words, and some unmusical words, and finding ways to put them into singable songs.

On the purpose of these musicals

Young: There was the belief for quite a long time, I don’t know if there was ever hard data to back it up, but if you bring everyone together for this thrilling theatrical experience — and it often actually was thrilling to the audience — then they’d have a sense of purpose, they would get out there, they would charge ahead and have a renewed energy for selling.

Many of the songs were packed with information about details of the new products, or the marketing strategies that were being presented. So you’d go home, ideally, all fired up, with a new sense of your pride in working for the company and a way forward for what you were going to do as a sales person.

On how audiences received industrial ballads

Young: Some of the composers I’ve spoken to over the years have told me they’ve seen audiences full of hardened sales executives and middle managers brought to tears by these beautifully crafted and performed songs that tell them, “What you’re doing is important for you, for your family, for the company, for America, for the world.” This was stuff that hit them right where they lived.

And yes, it was to promote sales, but it was also to tell them, “We understand what you do out there when you go into the field of battle, and we appreciate it, and you’re not forgotten.”

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/11/05/243204830/sales-take-center-stage-to-boost-morale-companies-burst-into-song?ft=1&f=1032
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Obamacare court challenge: Do corporations have religious freedom rights?

A major legal challenge to Obamacare making its way to the Supreme Court could allow for-profit corporations to opt out of a key piece of the law by asserting freedom of religion.

Hobby Lobby, a “biblically founded” crafts store chain based in Oklahoma, is one of 39 for-profit companies suing the federal government over the law’s contraceptive mandate. The company argues that the federal government cannot infringe upon its religious rights by forcing it to provide contraceptive coverage in its health plan.

The case asks whether Hobby Lobby can refuse to comply with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate on the grounds that allowing its 13,000 employees access to birth control — specifically the morning after pill and intrauterine devices, or IUDs — would violate the company’s freedom of religion.

The case is novel because religious freedom typically has been thought to apply to individuals, churches and other religious non-profits, not corporations. Lower courts have split on the issue, and it’s all but inevitable the Supreme Court will decide to wade into the matter, possibly as early as December.

A decision in favor of Hobby Lobby could dramatically expand the rights of companies to dispute federal laws governing how they treat their employees based on religious grounds.

“I think it’s very likely the Supreme Court will hear the case,” said Timothy Jost, a law professor and health care reform expert at Washington & Lee University.

Hobby Lobby’s founder and CEO, David Green, and his family — all Christian evangelicals — argue that they and their company’s freedom of religious exercise is substantially burdened by having to provide its employees insurance that covers the morning after pills and IUDs. The Greens believe these contraceptives prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus, which they consider to be tantamount to abortion and thus against their religion. (Neither type of contraceptive has any effect on existing pregnancies and do not cause abortions.)

Their case rests on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which says people can seek to opt out of laws if they substantially burden their free exercise of religion. The government is allowed to burden a person’s religious freedom if it can prove that it has a compelling reason to and that the law is narrowly tailored to achieve its goal.

So far, the 3rd and 6th Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that RFRA does not protect for-profit companies hoping to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to employees. “We simply cannot understand how a for-profit, secular corporation — apart from its owners — can exercise religion,” 3rd Circuit Judge Robert Cowen wrote for the majority.

But in the Hobby Lobby case, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Greens, saying the company was protected under RFRA. The judges cited Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that found corporations cannot be restricted in how they spend their money for political reasons because it infringed on their right to free speech.

“We see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation’s political expression but not its religious expression,” the 10th circuit judges wrote in their decision.

The five Supreme Court justices who decided Citizens United could be swayed by the reference to the controversial campaign finance case. “Certainly the orientation of the Supreme Court toward protecting corporate interests will probably play an important role in the case,” Jost said.

But there is more legal precedent in the area of corporate freedom of speech than in corporate religious exercise, which has traditionally been seen more as a personal right. The government has argued that federal law holds that for-profit companies are not religious organizations. “No court has ever found a for-profit company to be a religious organization for purposes of federal law,” the Justice Department wrote in its brief to the 10th circuit last spring, arguing against Hobby Lobby.

The government also argues that Hobby Lobby is a distinct legal entity separate from its owners and shareholders, and can’t hold religious beliefs.

“It’s really a broader question about who is able to exercise religion,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund, which is representing Hobby Lobby. “Do business owners give up their rights to religious freedom when they operate a business?”

If the court does decide that corporations can hold religious beliefs or is protected by RFRA, Hobby Lobby would still have to prove that the government had no compelling reason to ask insurers to cover contraceptives. The government says providing contraceptives without co-pays significantly limits unintended pregnancies and keeps down medical costs.

Hobby Lobby’s lawyers say if the contraception is such a compelling government interest, the government would not have carved out exemptions for non-profit religious organizations.

The slippery slope argument against Hobby Lobby’s case is that the controlling shareholder of any major corporation could object, line by line, to a whole host of federal laws that affect how the company must treat its employees if it violates his or her religious beliefs.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obamacare-court-challenge–do-corporations-have-religious-freedom-rights–215954285.html
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What It Takes (And Means) To Learn English As An Adult

Millions of adults who grew up speaking a language other than English are still held back by their language skills.


Millions of adults who grew up speaking a language other than English are still held back by their language skills.


This is the second report in a four-part series on adult education.

Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she’s “desperate” to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.

‘Studying Is Sacred’

Perez has taken English classes off and on for almost 20 years. Now she’s trying to fill in the gaps in her education, even though she says it’s challenging to juggle everything.

“I have to study, I have a grandchild, I have a daughter, a husband. Everything adds up,” she says in Spanish.

But Perez takes two buses and comes to class every day at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

“I try to never miss a day. A day of studying is sacred for me. I swear,” she says.

Perez, like many of her classmates, struggles to balance learning English with jobs, child care and household responsibilities. Jorge Delgado, the assistant principal at Carlos Rosario, says many of his adult students make “incredible sacrifices” to come to class.

“Lots of cleaning until 7 o’clock in the morning. Many of them are bartenders, parking attendants,” he says. “The other day I was leaving an activity, and it was like 3 o’ clock in the morning. And when I went to pay, it was one of my students. And I’m like, ‘Don’t you have class at 8:30?’ And he’s says, “Yep.’ “

The student would get off work at 5.

‘Stepchild Of The Stepchild’

There are millions of adults — mostly immigrants — who grew up in the United States speaking a language other than English at home. Many of whom are still held back by their limited language skills. Of those, only 3 to 5 percent are being served in English classes, says Heide Wrigley, a senior researcher at Literacywork International.

“Adult education is a bit of a stepchild in terms of research and the resources available,” she says. “And within that, the stepchild of the stepchild is really adult second-language acquisition.”

There are long waiting lines for English classes in almost every state. Perez was lucky to get into Carlos Rosario, which has a waitlist of 1,000 prospective students.

At The Literacy Council of Montgomery County in Maryland, Carol Dymond teaches an English conversation class. She has students from dozens of countries.

One of the students, Hyunok Hong, is struggling with the sound of the letter “z” because there isn’t an equivalent sound in her native Korean.

Researcher Wrigley says she’s often asked, “Why can’t immigrants just learn English?” She says she has to remind people how difficult it is to learn another language and how long it takes.

“It doesn’t just require that you learn the grammar and the pronunciation. You need thousands of words,” she says. “And you have to build what we call ‘communicative competence’ that allows you to know not just what to say, but what to say to whom and when. And what not to say.”

The Motivation

Despite how difficult it is, many immigrants keep at it.

When asked why she wants to learn English, Hong looks confused. The answer seems so obvious: “I live in America; I am American.”

Hong’s dream is to learn enough English so she can go on a road trip by herself. One of her classmates says longingly she’d love to make American friends; another wants to help her child with homework.

Wrigley says immigrants’ ability to speak English is about more than just the language — it makes for a stronger, more integrated country.

“It’s really a way to support social cohesion and to feel like you’re part of that fabric of the wider U.S. community,” she says.

For Hong and Perez, learning English gives them a chance at a better job and a better future for their families. But there are thousands more who are waiting and hoping for their own shot at the American dream.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/11/01/241889567/what-it-takes-and-means-to-learn-english-as-an-adult?ft=1&f=1001
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