Workplace ESL


The ESLC offers two English for specific purposes programs: Job Readiness and Workplace English. Both programs are mentioned below.


The ESLC Job Readiness Program is for people with limited English proficiency who are preparing to enter the workforce or want to become more familiar with U.S. work culture. Potential students should be able to understand frequently used English words in context and when spoken slowly. Students should be able to recognize, read, and write numbers and letters in English. They should also be able write basic personal information such as name, address, and phone number.

These classes will help to familiarize students with American work culture and expectations via ESL instruction. We will guide students through the process of considering job skills and abilities and setting goals, to applying, interviewing, acquiring, and keeping a job. Our goal is to help students to be ready to work by the end of the course. Please refer students who are serious about trying to get a job in the US and who will be able to attend ten hours a week for six weeks.

Census data shows a positive relation between immigrant earnings and English language ability. Many immigrant employees understand the importance of improving their English skills, yet barriers such as time, transportation, and childcare keep many from attending classes. Offering ESL classes on the job is a way to provide instruction to those who have difficulty accessing ESL classes outside of work. Learning English in the context of work can improve work skills while improving language skills.

The Workplace English program contracts with companies to provide ESL classes taught by professional teachers who develop a specialized curriculum for the company and at the company's worksite. The class curriculum is developed based on feedback from the company, the students, and their supervisors. Students of Workplace English classes say that the classes help them to better communicate with their supervisors and co-workers, follow instructions, understand safety guidelines, and improve their personal lives. Companies that contract with the ESLC to provide classes to their employees find that the classes build the employees' confidence, increase workplace safety and productivity, and create a more collaborative, positive working environment.


The LDS Humanitarian Center

DSC 0022The Humanitarian Center was established in 1991 to prepare humanitarian supplies for worldwide distribution, while providing job skill training for refugees and immigrants. At any given time, approximately 100 associates are enrolled in the Humanitarian Center, with the long-term goal of joining the workforce and becoming self-reliant. Half the day the associates develop job skills, while the other half they attend English classes. The English Skills Learning Center supports these classes by holding 12 small group classes a day,  Monday  through Friday. Every week, nearly 30 ESLC volunteers facilitate these small learning groups, giving associates more personalized English instruction. Small group classes cover a variety of topics, including Emerging and Beginning Literacy, Driving, Empowering Parents, and Citizenship.

This partnership is in conjunction with Deseret Industries, Refugee Services Office (within the Utah State Department of Workforce Services), Catholic Community Services, International Rescue Committee, Asian Association of Utah, and Granite Peaks Lifelong Learning Center. 


One-on-One Tutoring

Oleg B and Vijenendan PerumalOne-on-one tutoring is at the heart of the English Skills Learning Center and exemplifies our mission to individualize instruction for every student. Matching the availability of our volunteers with the needs of the student, we arrange lessons that fit their schedules and adjust to their educational background. Many of our students are able to access our small group classes even if they are working more than one job or have childcare and/or transportation concerns. The One-on-One Program at the ESLC is unique because it provides English instruction to adults who don’t have access to our small group classes due largely to special circumstances not already mentioned.

Every student is assessed when they come to our office to register for our services by an ESLC staff member. A student will be placed in the One-on-One program upon qualification and determination by the ESLC staff. At any given time, the one-on-one program has 30-40 student/volunteer matches meeting throughout Salt Lake County. One-on-one matches are held in homes, libraries, community centers, and other locations convenient for both the volunteer and student to meet. Please come to our office Monday through Thursday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to register for classes.


Empowering Parents

Jackson EPThis program gives parents access to English instruction on-site at their child’s school or nearby community learning center, either in the morning after parents have dropped children off, in the afternoon before picking children up from school, or in the evening for parents with children in after-school programs. Besides improving their English, the classes help parents become more active participants in their children’s education and integrate them more fully into their communities.

The classes follow a curriculum developed specifically for this program that covers topics such as talking to your child's teacher, reading a report card, and understanding school expectations.  This curriculum is supplemented with lessons from the From Home to School reading comprehension series and an increased focus on Family Literacy.

Additionally, about once a month, each class has a lesson centered on a children's book. The parents work on reading comprehension, reading fluency, and strategies for reading with their children. This aspect of the program promotes regular reading with children, which greatly impacts children's academic success.  Studies show that children whose parents learn English do better in school.  In the 2013-2014 school year, the program was offered at 10 schools and 2 community learning centers throughout the Salt Lake Valley.


Small Group Classes

Hartland SG

ESLC provides English language support for adult immigrants and refugees by training and providing mentorship support to our volunteers who teach small group ESL classes. Our small group classes are offered in locations where our students are already gathered, making it convenient for them to attend classes. We offer small-group classes in apartment complexes, and community and recreation centers.

Our class sizes are small and ESLC staff and volunteers regularly assess what life skills the students want to learn, focusing the curriculum for each small group class on developing language skills around the students’ specified needs.

We have partnered with the LDS Humanitarian Center, University Neighborhood Partners (UNP) at Hartland and the Hser Ner Moo Welcome Center at South Parc Apartments to serve refugee communities in those, and other, apartment complexes. We are one of four non-profit organizations collaborating with several departments from the University of Utah to provide a comprehensive approach to increase stability for refugee and immigrant families at a low-income apartment complex on the west side of Salt Lake City. We are looking to strategically expand our small group class offerings, evaluating potential new partnerships in geographic areas where there is a need for ESL instruction.



Olga and JamilESLC’s citizenship program is growing almost every day, especially after receiving one out of forty grants nationwide from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The numbers of students attending our citizenship classes are not only increasing, but every month we are celebrating our students’ success as they pass their exams and become U.S citizens!


So far this year (October 2014), 91 students passed the US Citizenship examination and 83 students have already attended the US oath ceremony to become naturalized as US citizens. Currently we have 140 other students working towards this goal with 21 volunteers teachers. The ESLC and partners in our citizenship program are proud to bring the promise of integration, security, and empowerment to our newest voting members of our society.


Our current students are from 20 countries, living in different areas of Salt Lake County, our great volunteers work with them in one-on-one and small group classes to help them achieve this specific goal.







facebook_32twitter_32icon_pinterest1333639846_linkedin1349458700 google plus