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Integrated English and Customer Service Training

Career Field: Retail / Hospitality

Adult Career Pathway: Retail Salesperson, Retail Supervisor

Type: On-ramp

Prepares Students for:

  • Getting a job
  • Entering a bridge program
  • Engaging in their community

Target Student Population: ESL students, CASAS Reading 200 – 220, who are seeking employment

Access Curriculum: View Materials

Course Description: This course prepares students to work in customer service jobs or enter more advanced retail career education training. Students learn basic job search and employability skills. Students also gain knowledge of customer service and retail job-specific skills such as working with customers and following workplace procedures. The course integrates English language instruction and literacy skills.  The learning experience is enhanced by having students volunteer weekly at an on-site food shelf.

Duration of Course:  Two-hour classes, five days a week, 14 weeks = 140 hours of instruction

Curriculum materials: Includes daily objectives and suggested instructional materials. Each two-week unit has overarching objectives, which are laid out in a Scope and Sequence document.  Draws from three primary ESL textbooks – At Work in the U.S., On The Job English, and ReadThis Series – and three primary online sources – changeagent.nelrc.org, newsela.com, and osha.gov.

Curriculum pluses:  Includes very organized and detailed scope and sequence with daily lesson plans.  Strong integration of language and literacy instruction.  Well-defined objectives, standards alignment and a student syllabus are also provided.

Curriculum drawbacks:  Most suggested instructional materials are drawn from a variety of textbooks that would need to be purchased.  The volunteer aspect of the learning experience – working in a thrift shop – is not clearly integrated into the course.

Authors: John Ashby and Kaija Bergen, Neighborhood House

Created: 2017


John Ashby
Neighborhood House
651-789-2522 / jashby@neighb.org