Occupational English as a Second Language


  • Alicia D. Ramirez M.A.,

    1. (M.A., University of Southern California) is Consultant and Trainer: Manpower Program, Bilingual-Bicultural Program, Monterey Park, Calif.
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  • Victoria L. Spandel M.A.

    1. (M.A., University of Minnesota) is Writer/Editor, Assessment Projects, Western Area Manpower Institute for the Development of Staff, Portland, Oregon.
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ABSTRACT  The article presents an overview of OESL, its development, purposes, and characteristics, and guides the reader to potential sources of additional information. OESL training, which assists individuals in fulfilling their occupational goals, is a component of bilingual/bicultural education, an ‘umbrella’ term for language programs that help individuals develop bilingual skills and heighten their cultural awareness. Several operational OESL programs are cited as examples, including one by Ms. Garcelon and Ms. Alicia D. Ramirez: EST/AUTO MECHANICS SUPPLEMENTARY LESSONS. Portions of that program are produced to illustrate actual drills and exercises. In a subsequent section, persons within the OESL target population are broadly classified according to need, with an outline of strategies for meeting those needs. Characteristics of successful OESL programs are reviewed, with emphasis on open-entry/open-exit, individualized instruction, and a competency based, individualized approach. Preparation of OESL materials is illustrated and the competencies required of an effective OESL instructor are listed. The article emphasizes awareness, empathy, and imagination in designing and implementing programs to meet the diverse needs of OESL populations.