Lyft drivers in New Jersey learning English as a second language most often hail from Spanish, Bengali and French-speaking countries.
Now, because of a partnership between Lyft and language learning app Duolingo, they can earn a digital certification through a Duolingo educational program which can then be used as proof of English proficiency at other jobs and at over 500 universities, including Yale University, New York University, The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the University of Notre Dame.
The six-week program is instructed by live, accredited community college instructors who are experts in English language learning.
“One of the things that makes New Jersey a wonderful place for business is the diverse community that calls this state home,” said Carlos Medina, chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, in a statement. “Lyft’s partnership with Duolingo means that more of those who drive with Lyft will be able to learn language skills that will make driving even better, and this will serve them in all areas of their lives.”
According to Lyft’s blog, sharing a ride is about connection and shared experiences, and learning a common language not only breaks down barriers of communication, but it also breaks down barriers to education and professional opportunities.