Guidelines for Selecting Employees for Beginning ESL Class

by | Language Training

How do you know which of your employees need a beginning ESL class? Typically, potential participants of a beginning ESL class do not have the necessary English skills if they:

  • Do not make an attempt to communicate to the GM / Supervisor / Coworkers in English
  • Haven’t completed the 2nd grade in the U.S. or their country
  • Possess only a few vocabulary words in English
  • Have worked less than 6 months at the company

A candidates that is a good fit for a beginning ESL class typically:

  • Is shy / not confident of their ability (although they may possess good speaking skills)
  • Knows a number of vocabulary words in English
  • Have problems “getting their point across” although they can do it occasionally
  • Is reluctant to speak with customers but will be able to communicate some ideas to their GM / Supervisor
  • Needs to work at company 6+ months
  • Can make simple requests but can’t elaborate / give many details
  • Is able to fill out personal information on a application – name, phone, address …
  • Wants to take the class / has aspirations of advancement within the organization (have a bilingual coworker elicit some of this information)
  • Would have completed any grade between 2nd and 8th in the U.S. or in their country

It’s also important that participants in a beginning ESL class aren’t too advanced for the course content. Individuals that would benefit from a more advanced ESL class typically:

  • Speak “choppy” English and would have an accent but could “get their point across”
  • Not have any difficulty completely filling out any simple forms
  • Be able to explain roles & responsibilities of various positions in a simple fashion
  • Have completed 8th grade or above in the U.S. or in their own country

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