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Strategies webinar to support skilled immigrants

Global Talent Bridge/WES logo.
Global Talent Bridge/WES logo.

Global Talent Bridge, an initiative of the World Education Services (WES) located in Lower Manhattan, recently presented the webinar “Successful ESL Strategies for Skilled Immigrant Students.” The strategies included contextualized and intensive ESL, proper English language assessment, and program development ideas.

Contextualized ESL includes soft skills such as “personal qualities (e.g., humor, independence, or ambition, basic interpersonal communications skills, and goal setting.” Intensive ESL classes of 12–15 hours or more allow skilled immigrants to master English faster. Proper assessment is essential for correctly placing skilled immigrants (i.e., students should take TOEFL or TSE tests, rather than TABE or BEST Plus tests). Finally, consider other program ideas, including individual or shorter program events (e.g., conversation groups).

The focus was on strategies that help ESL and adult education programs support immigrant students with a range of skill levels. Presenters included Paul Feltman, Director of Global Talent Bridge; Elaine Roberts, Director of the Immigrant Support Program at the International Center of Catholic Charities Community Services (CCCS); and Daniel Munier, Employment and Education Trainer, Refugee Resettlement Office of CCCS.

The presenters expounded four program areas for skilled immigrants: “application materials (e.g., resumes and cover letters), career plans (e.g., interests and values), foreign credentials and licensing (e.g., avoid doubling degrees), and networking (e.g., personal and professional networks).” Essentially, skilled immigrants have a better chance at mastering the English skills they need if they attend integrated programs related to their field of professional interest.

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