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1 October 27 th & 28 th 2006 LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, New York Prepared by Regina Suitt, Director of Community and Workplace Programs.

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Presentation on theme: "1 October 27 th & 28 th 2006 LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, New York Prepared by Regina Suitt, Director of Community and Workplace Programs."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 October 27 th & 28 th 2006 LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, New York Prepared by Regina Suitt, Director of Community and Workplace Programs Pima Community College Adult Education 1602 S. 3 rd Ave Tucson, Arizona 85709-5610 1-520-884-8628

2 2 A little about us…. In 1988 then Pima County Adult Education, was one of 37 programs that received a grant for $78,000 to offer literacy, ABE, and ESOL classes in the workplace. We were funded four times over 7 years. Pima College Adult Educations Workplace Education Program provides customized classes designed to improve the basic skill level of the workplace participants as they relate to the requirements of their jobs or potential jobs and to increase their opportunities for employment, continued employment, career advancement, improved work-related skills, and further education and training. In 1995, the grants ran out and we were able to continue the program for a few reasons: 1. We charged from the beginning 2. We had a good reputation 3. We offered a superior product (teachers & curriculum) 4. We had strong leadership that allowed it all to happen and continued to fund it when business was slow

3 3 In 2001, we were incorporated by Pima Community College, the fifth largest multi-campus community college in the country. Classes are offered at the clients worksite during convenient times and days that meet the needs of the workers. Specialized classes include ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), VESL (Vocational English as a Second Language), GED Fasttrack, Writing Enhancement, Math Enhancement, Reading Improvement, and SSL (Spanish as a Second Language), as well as other customized workshops/classes. Weve trained thousands of workers in the Tucson area in a variety of industries and with a broad array of services. We conduct organization review and task analysis to build curriculum. The state of Arizona requires we administer standardized assessments.

4 4 Participating employers have included large and small manufacturing companies, educational institutions, government agencies, the U.S. military, hotels, casinos, hospitals, retail, and construction companies. In 1992, the program was highlighted as one of five exemplary projects in the USDOEs publication, Workplace Literacy: Reshaping the American Workforce. The program is currently in its fifth year as the Arizona Department of Educations Model Program for Workforce Education. In 2004, the program was chosen as one of 6 exemplary Workplace Programs nationwide by the Department of Educations Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

5 5 Panel Three: Issues in Instructional Design & Delivery Employer expectations and assumptions about English language instructional goals including the length of training are often different from those of educators. How can these different sets of expectations and goals be managed in customized training programs ?

6 6 What are some assumptions? If they speak Spanish if front of me, theyre being rude. People who live in the U.S should learn English. If immigrants dont learn English, theyre not motivated. People can learn English in 10-12 weeks, no problem. Weve already done one 10-week session of English classes. Why are they still speaking Vietnamese in the bathroom?

7 7 Our experiences Make short term objectives clear to everyone. Write them down. Meet with a team from the company rather than just one person from HR or Training Departments. Educate the team and the students about language acquisition. Make sure everyone is clear about reporting of assessments and attendance.

8 8 Our experiences Keep the company up-to-date with class progress. Share successes and challenges throughout the class. Encourage company to offer incentives. Encourage companies to build relationships with employees around the class. Find the right teacher for a workplace class. Offer ESOL & SSL class concurrently at a company.

9 9 Challenges Address questions and issues before classes start. Make sure teacher is a good fit. Walk away from a company if you dont feel right about it.

10 10 Implications for future Provide more opportunities to potential and current workplace teachers for specialized training. Always involve civic and life long learning. Advocate for adult education issues and invite business to become involved in the issue as well.

11 11 By presenting English courses at the job-site, through lessons that are immediately applicable to the daily routine, employees who might otherwise have avoided a classroom education have shown great enthusiasm for training. The communication skills of almost all participants have noticeably increased, supervisors have commented on participants doing better on the job, and morale has likewise gone up. Some participants have applied for, and received, promotions. Both employees and their supervisors have become staunch supporters of this program. Bill Savary, Training Coordinator Facilities Management University of Arizona

12 12 PCAE has tailored its programs to meet the unique needs of our employee population. They continuously solicit input from our training participants to ensure that programs reflect the needs of the business as a whole. As a result, employees at all levels in our organization, including those who supervise the people in the programs, have always expressed a great deal of satisfaction with the training facilitated by PCAE. We are extremely happy and proud to have created a learning partnership with PCAE that fulfills and often exceeds our hopes and expectations. Maria Meza, Manager Training and Development Desert Diamond Casino

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14 How long does it take? According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) a minimal level of language proficiency (able to exchange greetings, get directions, or order food) takes over 150 classroom hours depending on the language (Chinese takes up to 350 hours!) It takes 2-5 years to become socially adept in a second language and from 5-8 years to become academically on par with native speakers (Cummins, 1991; Thomas & Collier,1997) *There is limited research about adults learning a new language, this research involves children. Cummins, J. (1991) Language learning and bilingualism (Sophia Linguistica Monograph No. 29). Tokyo: Sophia University, Sophia Institute for International Communication.

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