The benefits of AESL as opposed to ESL

One of HopeWorks’ newest programs is Adult English as a Second Language or AESL. These classes assist students in strengthening their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills to help them succeed in their daily lives. AESL is a version of ESL classes – an acronym that may be more familiar. While ESL classes do teach the English language, they lack the basic American and community assimilation education to support the long-term success of immigrants in America. AESL adds cultural components to its curriculum, and in turn supports the mental, physical and cultural needs of its students.

English language as a job skill tool
One reason many of our students seek an AESL program is to break through the workforce. It’s difficult for students who once served as doctors, lawyers and professionals in their native countries, to transfer the certifications necessary to assume those roles in America. Simultaneously, many don’t have the language skills to transition into a role here. Providing students with workforce vocabulary and information about American workforce customs is essential so that they can call in sick, respond to their boss’ requests or communicate effectively with clients or customers.

English language for basic human needs
Another portion of important vocabulary to learn is words and phrases for everyday life. If you didn’t know English, how would you go to the doctor and tell them what was wrong? How about discussing your child’s performance at a parent-teacher conference? What if you ran out of milk and wanted to ask your neighbor for some? AESL courses provide students with the tools necessary that make once intimidating tasks like these manageable! We also support students by providing explanations of American systems and customs. Many immigrants may be unfamiliar with the requirements to enroll their children in the public school system or how to obtain health insurance through the private market. We support our students by not only teaching them the language they need to navigate common situations but also how to start and execute the processes.

English language for residency
DMVs are hard to tackle as native English speakers, so imagine how it would be as if English was your second language! AESL courses provide training and tools to help students maintain their legal status and obtain residency should they choose to do so. We help them understand the difference between the DMV, the role of a landlord and other standard practices we might take for granted. We can also support them as they pursue citizenship studies. This section is imperative to our students so that they can have reliable transportation and a path to becoming U.S. citizens.

If you or someone you know is interested in signing up for our AESL course, please call 901-272-3700 or email Nicole Kennell at