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New Programs Teach English Skills Alongside Career Skills

Submitted by on August 17, 2022 – 7:38 pm

Haverhill and Lawrence, MA (August 15, 2022)—Northern Essex Community College is offering five new English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Career Skills classes for the 2022/2023 academic year. These classes, offered through the NECC Center for Adult Education, are designed to help students expand their English language knowledge while gaining job skills in a specific career field.

three students gather around a table with open notebooks

Students in ESOL class

“Contextualized ESOL is a teaching and learning style that helps students learn and use the English language in real-world situations,” says Sandy Zappala, assistant director of the English Language Success Program. “Combining ESOL with career skills results in job seekers who are not only skilled in their chosen industry but who are also bilingual and are highly sought after in the labor market.”

Programs include ESOL for the Workplace with Digital Literacy, Advanced ESOL for Medical Professionals, and Fundamentals of Accounting: QuickBooks Online Certificate. Two additional courses, Medical Office Front Desk Staff Certificate and Microsoft Office Specialist Certificate, are free for SNAP recipients as part of the SNAP Path to Work Program. This is the first year that the program has been offered at NECC.

“Unlike traditional credit classes, students will find these classes have less pressure, less homework, and are more flexible for their needs. Instructors are experienced in teaching adult learners and create a warm and welcoming environment in which to learn,” says Zappala.

Financial assistance is available for all courses for individuals who qualify. All programs meet online, and day and evening classes are available. Zappala says most students can complete the programs in one or two semesters. These courses are designed for those with intermediate to advanced English skills.

The Center for Adult Education offers a variety of programs, such as ESOL Level 1-6, GED/HiSET, MassSTEP, ESOL Supported Career Skills, and Transition to College. Many individuals start at CAE and continue to Community Education, credit courses, or enter directly into the workplace. Students are encouraged to drop by, call or make an appointment to meet with an academic advisor to learn more.

Students interested in the new ESOL Career Skills programs can reach out to the English Language Success Program Coordinator Estefanie Bernard at or call or text 978-655-5844.