Read about this map of ESL classes in Philly — in English, and in Spanish - Generocity Philly


Aug. 8, 2017 12:13 pm

Read about this map of ESL classes in Philly — in English, and in Spanish reporter Roberto Torres' translation of his story about the city's map reminded us of the importance of accessibility.

English as a Second Language classes in Philadelphia.

(Screenshot via

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Earlier this summer, Philly’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Office of Adult Education and a handful of partners teamed up to create an interactive map of English as a Second Language classes offered in the city.

It was an effort to make the process of finding such classes easier for those who would hypothetically take advantage of them. The map also details the percentage of non-English speakers in each ZIP code so viewers can tell where the need is greatest.

See the map

But what good is such a map if it’s promoted in English?

In the name of accessibility, reporter Roberto Torres translated his story on the maps into his own native language, Spanish.

Check it out here in English and here en español.

Caveat: Of course, not every non-English speaker in Philadelphia speaks Spanish. According to Brookings, 28 percent of the Greater Philadelphia region’s 500,000 foreign-born citizens hail from Latin America and the Caribbean, and Hispanics and Latinos made up 12.3 percent of the city’s population in 2010.

Still, it’s a reminder of the importance of accessibility. From Torres:

“My first instinct was writing the original article in simple English to make it easier for people to have access to the info. Then I thought of all the Latino immigrants I’ve met in Philly who either can’t read that well in English or can’t read it at all who may be interested in some free/low cost classes.

“If something as simple as translating a short article can impact someone’s life, why not do it?”

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Julie Zeglen

Julie Zeglen is the editor of Generocity. Previous to joining the Technically Media team, she served as managing editor of Star Community Newsweekly, a hyperlocal newspaper focused on Philadelphia’s River Wards. The Temple alumna lives in West Philly.

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