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Workforce English Gives Brazilian Technical Students a Leg Up

How do you improve the English of students seeking US visas to begin internships at American wineries? You bring an American ESL instructor to them using interactive online software.

In the summer of 2007, Diane Stenerson, an experienced M State English instructor, developed an online language course to assist Brazilian winery students as they prepared to pass an American Consulate interview and to work in the US for a year. Here's her description of how she customized the class to provide the knowledge and the English practice needed. NOTE: In late 2007, the software added a visual component, so the next time Diane teachers she will see and hear her students.

"Thus far, we have covered winery terminology, English/American idioms, American slang, California points of interest, American culture, consulate interview question samples, and cognates. I have given them assignments to research California, English language components (idioms and slang pertinent to California) and then present their information verbally in class, which has been important for them since consulates often ask questions about this. We have worked on pronunciation whenever a word is mispronounced. We discussed the different sounds found in English that are not found in Portuguese. We have discussed food in America at the request of one of the students. We were discussing their three greatest fears about coming to America. This gave them practice in speaking English ….

I have an abundance of internet links for them to explore and discuss on the discussion board in order to cover the reading and writing elements more thoroughly asynchronously. I have put ESL links regarding safety and emergency procedures as well."

At CTS, we bring creative technology and trainers together to create and customize training so that workers get precisely what they need, when they need to learn it.

Last modified: January 22nd, 2009 at 11:52am