First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language


English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers -- Case studies, Employees -- Training of -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iii, 122 p.)


This study is participant observational research focused on a description of an United States Department of Education grant-funded English in the Workplace pilot program. The survey of the literature shows that there is an increasing need to provide educational opportunities for workers who, for various reasons, are not currently being served by traditional education providers. The study presented here describes a pilot program and asks "How is an English in the Workplace program developed and implemented? What do those characteristics of workplace education programs, as identified in the literature, 'look like' once such a program has been implemented?" The researcher collected data from on-site observation of the classes and staff meetings, interviews, and program final reports and records. The elements that characterize this particular pilot program are common to those described or proscribed in the literature on workplace education. These elements include needs assessment, the physical setting, the participants, the instructional schedule and materials, as well as final evaluation. This study suggests that employers, by working together with educators, strive to meet the educational needs of employees, specifically, English language instruction, by providing and supporting English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in the workplace. This study recommends that (1) workplace ESL instructors balance employer and employee needs by considering what the employer and the employees consider the program's purpose to be, (2) instructors supplement a general life-skills curriculum with workplace materials, (3) instructors be trained how to implement an English in the Workplace program, (4) instructors meet with the employees, management, supervisors, and trainers on a regular basis to assess whether the program is meeting the goals of everyone involved in the program. This study adds to the understanding of workplace education programs by specifically describing the characteristics of a particular English in the Workplace pilot program. However, additional research is needed to better understand the effects of workplace education, not just characteristics. The researcher concludes that future research is needed that examines the potential impact of workplace education programs.


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