Lyft to offer free English lessons to Chicago drivers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Lyft announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Duolingo and the National Immigration Forum to offer free language learning tools to drivers in Chicago and five other major cities who are looking to improve their English.

Drivers can enroll through the program in the National Immigration Forum's "Skills and Opportuntiy for the New American Workforce" blended learning option. The program is made up as in-person classes and an online platform. It lasts six weeks, and is instructed by accredited community college instructors. Drivers can earn certifications upon completion.

Drivers will also be given access to Duolingo Plus, which offers more than 80 courses in more than 30 languages. According to Lyft, Chicago drivers who are English language learners report Spanish, Russian and Chinese as their top three primary languages.

Drivers will be able to earn digital certification when they complete the Duolingo Plus course, which the company said can be used as proof of English proficiency to apply for other jobs. More than 500 universities also accept Duolingo's certification as an official validation of English proficiency, Lyft said.

Lyft is offering access to Duolingo and the Forum program in Seattle and Houston as well. Drivers in Miami, New York City and New Jersey are being offered access to Duolingo Plus only.

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