Mayor Launches New ESOL Program
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For Immediate Release
June 26, 2008
Released By:
Mayor's Office
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Press Office

English for Speakers of Other Languages for the Workplace

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced the launch today of a new televised series of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) designed for entry to the workplace.    The 28-episode series is the culmination of a two-year project supported by the Mayor's Offices of Cable Communications, Jobs and Community Services, and New Bostonians.   The ESOL in the Workplace series was created to help non-English speakers learn things that would help them feel more comfortable in a work environment, as well as everyday conversational pieces. The televised program was taped on location at the Asian American Civic Association (AACA) in Boston. Classes are hosted and taught by Richard Goldberg, director of education at the AACA where he has taught ESOL for 15 years. Mr. Goldberg was named Teacher of the Year in 2002 by the Mass. Coalition for Adult Education.   "It's wonderful that the City can offer accessible programming to help those learning English familiarize themselves with the language," said Mayor Menino. "The skills that ESOL programs offer will undoubtedly boost the confidence of non-English speakers, a vital part of the City of Boston's workforce."   The ESOL program at the Asian American Civic Association is for beginning and intermediate English speakers. It aims to help the students adapt to life in the United States and feel comfortable studying English at a more advanced level.   The ESOL for the Workplace programming airs on Boston City TV (Comcast 24 & RCN 13) on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 9:00 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 4:30 p.m. Encore viewing for the week's episodes is scheduled for every Sunday at 8:00 p.m.    The ESOL episodes are also posted on Boston's website, ( www.cityofboston.gov/cable ) and will soon be linked to active ESOL class schedules.   The Mayor's Office of New Bostonians offers a searchable database of ESOL Classes which can be accessed at www.cityofboston.gov/newbostonians/search.asp . This English for New Bostonians project is a private-public-community partnership initiated by the Mayor's Office and made possible with funding from Verizon.             The Mayor's Office of Jobs and Community Services (JCS) partners with the state Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education to fund 3,000 ESOL opportunities in nearly 30 literacy programs throughout Boston's neighborhoods. JCS also invests in an additional 750 student opportunities for ESOL courses with an investment from the Neighborhood Jobs Trust in collaboration with local foundations from the English for New Bostonians initiative. These programs enable New Bostonians to learn and improve their English language skills helping them: join the mainstream labor market; access livelong learning opportunities; and more fully participate in their communities.    Additional information about ESOL programming in Boston is available from several resources:

  • The Adult Literacy Resource Initiative at (617) 287-4070, website http://sabes.org/boston;
  • The Adult Literacy Organization at http://bostonadultliteracy.org/ and
  • A listing of programs in the Opportunities Guide located at the JCS website http://www.bostonjcs.org.
In his first inaugural address, Mayor Menino made a commitment to enhance English as a Second Language (ESL) training with televised instruction, a commitment fulfilled with a health care based, 10-part television series developed and aired on local Boston City TV.   The series won the Innovators in Education award and was later distributed to other cities for broadcast.   More recently, Mayor Menino sought to re-visit this demand for English language training and produce fresh ESOL programming for today's workplace. That challenge was met by Boston City TV high school and college interns who have worked over the last two years to fulfill every production element of this series. The four high school students are now enrolled in film and video production colleges and the four Northeastern University interns have all graduated and are working in their profession.   Technical staff who contributed to the ESOL for the Workplace product include: 
  • Editor/videographer Andrew Hannon of West Roxbury (Columbia College of Chicago),
  • Editor/videographer Christopher Smith of Brighton (Columbia College of Chicago),
  • Videographer Kevin Mannering of West Roxbury (Washington and Lee University), 
  • Editor Andrew Lewis of West Roxbury (Emerson College),
  • Editor Stefanie Bair of Mission Hill, (Northeastern University),
  • Editor Jenel Ronn of Mission Hill (Northeastern University),
  • Editor C. Mae Waugh of the Fenway (Northeastern University),
  • Editor/videographer/producer Patrick Flaherty of Brighton (Northeastern University),
  • David Burt of East Boston, producer/director, Boston City TV.

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