Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)

The challenge

English is the international language of business. English as a Second Language (TESL) instructors provide a valuable service to immigrants in English-speaking countries. A small Hispanic organization, dedicated to helping Latin-American immigrants, wanted to train their instructors on the ESL teaching methodologies and techniques. The main challenge they faced was that most of their students were illiterate, even in their native language. While most ESL instructors held degrees in TESOL, they did not have experience teaching non-literate adults.

The solution

Through conducting extensive needs analysis, we uncovered the real needs and challenges of the instructors.  We concluded these instructors were mainly interested in examples and creative ideas about teaching various skill sets. Based on these discoveries, we created a separate module for each skill set- Reading, Writing, Grammar, Speaking, and Cultural Awareness.  Then, each section was subdivided into four sections- Theory, Expert Video, Examples, and Test Your Knowledge. The course detailed the needs of non-literate adult ESL learners, the learning styles of students, and how to facilitate language acquisition in the classroom setting. Following this, the course described the activities and exercises that might increase students’ comprehension of the English language. The course also explained how to create a lesson plan, conduct testing, and manage a classroom.  Besides downloadable video materials, this TESOL course offered simulations to help teachers apply the information to real-life situations. We also created a Who Wants to be a Millionaire? game that allowed ESL instructors to test their understanding of each section of the course in an interactive and engaging manner.