Recent 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 provides free English classes to English Language Learners at the places where they work. The ESLC contracts with companies to provide ESL classes taught by professional teachers who develop a specialized curriculum for the company. The class curriculum is developed based on feedback from the company, the students, and their supervisors. Students of Workplace ESL 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.