Living in Philly without English

Listen 49:00
A banner hanging from the National Museum of American Jewish History [Alex Stern]

A banner hanging from the National Museum of American Jewish History [Alex Stern]

Guests: Orlando Almonte, Nelson Flores, Alicia Fernandez 

The United States doesn’t have an official language, but navigating daily life without speaking English is still tough in America. According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, 10 percent of Philadelphians don’t speak fluent English. We’ll take a look at how the city government and public schools serve this population with ORLANDO ALMONTE, Language Access Program Manager for the Office of Immigrant Affairs, and NELSON FLORES, Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Then, we’ll turn to physician ALICIA FERNANDEZ, who specializes in healthcare disparities and language barriers. She says that, even though there’s a federal mandate hospitals provide interpreters for their non-English speaking patients, access to proper translation can be patchwork.

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