MY ROLE: ESOL Instructor, Business English

CLASS SPONSOR: Brooklyn Public Library

Our first class centered on introductions. We practiced language for introducing ourselves and summarizing observations about the class as a whole. Students worked with a partner to write a personal statement describing their interests, their educational and work backgrounds, and their goals for the future. With this information, I designed a syllabus of interactive lessons to build core skills (LSRW), vocabulary, and relevant grammar. Each class served as a standalone unit, emphasizing skills and activities that students could practice throughout the week from home. 

Class-time emphasized conversational strategies, tools for self-study, and the following topics: 

  • Personal Strengths & Core Qualifications, Introducing Yourself
  • Personal Statements, Talking About Yourself and Your Goals
  • Navigating Systems: the Doctor's Office, Personal Banking, 311 & NYC.gov
  • Forming Questions, Common Interview Questions
  • Commands vs. Polite Advice
  • Talking About Cultural Differences
  • Identifying Skills, Qualities, Tasks, and Requirements in a Job Description
  • Modifying a Resume for a Specific Job Description
  • Writing Cover Letters
  • Networking and Small Talk
  • Exploring 311 and NYC.gov Data on Immigrants in New York City
  • Resources for Small Business Creation in New York City

Together, we researched students' professional interests and located connections to NYC career resources and networks: NYC.gov and 311 resources, groups on Meetup.com, Upwardly Global, a nonprofit helping immigrant doctors, teachers, accountants, etc. to rebuild their careers in the United States, VolunteerMatch.com for students not yet working who wanted to gain references and experience here in NYC.

Based on several students' interest in starting a food business, we took a tour behind the scenes at Hot Bread Kitchen in Harlem, a nonprofit social enterprise with a paid Bakers-In-Training program for immigrant women.

Hot Bread Kitchen

A Venn Diagram Activity on Cultural Difference

Our Class Party