Portland Adult Education is creating a new language learning lab with about 20 computers and tablets with the help of a new $68,000 grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation, officials announced Friday.

The lab is for students who are on the waiting list for in-person English language classes.The very popular English language instruction courses have been maxed out for years, and despite adding classes cannot keep up with demand. This fall, a record 1,153 students are enrolled, and the waiting list is at about 120 people.

“The learning lab won’t eliminate the waiting list, but it will offer those students a huge leg-up on their future classes,” Director Rob Wood said in a statement. “We have more students who want to learn than we have capacity to teach. This grant means saying ‘yes’ to more students. And that’s great news for Portland Adult Ed, for our students and for our city.”

The lab, with a full-time staff coordinator and a team of volunteers, will be located at the program’s new location on Locust Street, in the former Cathedral School downtown.

Portland Adult Education reaches more than 4,000 people each year, teaching English language skills, giving GED testing and teaching job skills.

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