English as a Second Language

Language at Work provides instruction for English language learners with courses for large or small groups, and with coaching for individuals.


Some clients need instruction that is closely aligned with a specific workplace need or situation, and for them we develop courses that meet their needs, or we adapt our standard courses to fit.


Below are our standard English as a Second Language courses. Any course can be addressed in a coaching format as well as in a class.

Active Listening Skills

This course will help participants be more effective listeners when speaking with English language speakers. Participants will learn how to hear and recognize common speech sounds and patterns, and will develop confidence in engaging in dialogue.



  • Identify common problems with listening to English language speakers.
  • Recognize common behaviors of English speakers.
  • Learn how to ask questions to clarify understanding.
  • Develop responses that encourage speakers to adjust their delivery.
  • Recognize commonly misunderstood words, sounds, and phrases.

Articulation and Diction

This course will help participants improve their ability to speak English clearly and correctly.  Participants will learn pronunciation rules, and how they are applied, and will learn to hear and say speech sounds that are common to the English language.



  • Learn the basics of English language letter sounds.
  • Learn to hear and pronounce sounds accurately.
  • Recognize and pronounce common letter combinations.
  • Understand the role of tone and emphasis on pronunciation.
  • Learn to enlist assistance and patience from listeners.

Basic English Grammar

The course will help participants improve their knowledge and use of basic English grammar. Participants will learn common grammatical conventions and structure, particularly those that are frequently confused and are used in the workplace.



  • Learn the basic structure and format of English words and usage.
  • Learn common grammar constructions, including plurals, punctuation, person, parts of speech, and voice.
  • Understand how to apply rules in speech and writing.
  • Learn strategies for continued learning.
  • Recognize common slang words and phrases.

Business Writing

This course will help participants write business documents in English that are clear, concise, and correct. Participants will learn the elements of written documents that are professional and effective, and apply these understandings to their own work.



  • Learn the basic elements of professional written documents.
  • Understand the level of formality and the structural guidelines approved by your organization.
  • Understand how to write for the reader.
  • Learn varieties of formatting and organization.
  • Review grammar and structure as needed.

Communicating Effectively in English

This course will help participants communicate more successfully in a variety of situations. Participants will become more confident in their pronunciation, word use, and understanding.



  • Recognize behaviors that often accompany communication.
  • Distinguish between letter sounds.
  • Understand the effect of tone and emphasis on meaning.
  • Identify strategies for increasing understanding.
  • Identify ways to lessen factors that cause stress in communication situations.

Communication and Conversation

This course will help participants improve their interactions with English speakers. Participants will learn to engage in conversation, speak up at meetings, and improve fluency by reviewing and practicing pronunciation and word use.



  • Review basic communication guidelines.
  • Recognize behaviors that can accompany communication.
  • Understand the effect of tone and emphasis on meaning.
  • Identify strategies for increasing understanding.
  • Increase comfort level in asking for accommodation.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

This course will help participants better manage situations that are awkward or confrontational. Participants will learn to recognize and anticipate possible problems and learn strategies for dealing with them.



  • Understand common sources of workplace disagreements.
  • Learn to identify core issues within discussions.
  • Be able to clearly articulate one’s position and concern.
  • Use listening skills to seek agreement or understanding.
  • Learn vocabulary that will reflect grace and assertiveness.

Presentation Skills for Non-native Speakers

This course will help non-native speakers of English create and deliver presentations in English. Participants will review guidelines of good presentations, and adapt them to the constraints of speaking in an unfamiliar language.



  • Learn basic elements of strong presentations.
  • Understand common pitfalls for non-native speakers.
  • Review and practice problem areas in pronunciation and intonation.
  • Learn to anticipate and address audience concerns.
  • Know how to ensure understanding, and to manage questions.

Understanding the American Workplace

This course will help participants better understand and feel more comfortable in the American workplace. Participants will learn some common elements of culture that may be different from what they have experienced, and will learn to discern and adapt to whatever practices they find.



  • Consider what constitutes a workplace culture.
  • Learn the elements of culture that can differ from one workplace or department to another.
  • Learn how to recognize differences in culture, such as dress, level of formality, expectations, teamwork vs individual efforts.
  • Develop personal standards of work and behavior that fit your workplace.
  • Learn behaviors that will help you succeed within your workplace culture.