The English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Praxis continues to shine after ten new team members recently graduated. The workforce development program was initially set up in 2017 in partnership with the Literacy Center of West Michigan, who worked with Praxis to design and develop a customized learning program. The material covered in the six-month-long program focuses on conversational English as well as work-related English that an employee might encounter during their shift.
Students are given a pre and post confidence survey and also take a pre and post CASAS test, which measures reading, writing, speaking, and listening, otherwise known as the four elements of language learning. Homework and materials used in the class are developed based on job duties or daily communication at Praxis.
Classes for the recent graduating class began in September 2019 and were held on-site in the training department of Praxis, which is known as the University of Praxis. Minh Nguyen, Workforce Development Coordinator at Praxis, is one of the instructors of the ESL program and was the first graduate of the inaugural class of 2017. “The ultimate goal is to help our employees feel comfortable and enhance the communication levels of our workforce,” said Nguyen. “For those who want to take advantage of this program, it is available to all.”
“The ultimate goal is to help our employees feel comfortable and enhance the communication levels of our workforce. For those who want to take advantage of this program, it is available to all.”– Minh Nguyen, Workforce Development Coordinator (Far Left)
Praxis offers three levels of ESL classes to employees and currently has students enrolled in the advanced program. Classes are held for 15 weeks, and students are required to complete 45 hours of coursework to graduate from the program and receive their certificate from the Literacy Center.
“Workforce development is critical to our mission at Praxis,” said Paul Berkenpas, Executive Director of Human Resources at Praxis. “If we can help even just a few people advance their careers, feel more confident and comfortable while they work, then I believe this is a worthwhile endeavor.”