Contextualized and Integrated ESOL Programs for Workforce Development

CIET offers a variety of courses which assist low income, English language learners in attaining the additional English skills that they need to advance in their careers. Career plans are used as a goal-setting tool by students to reflect on skills gained from life and employment experiences, and as a foundation to identify future career steps. In CIET classes, students work on a variety of job search and customer service skills related to their industry of interest. All CIET workforce courses seek to train students to be conversant in American workplace culture and to identify and make progress toward a relevant workplace credential.


CIET has become a national leader in integrated ESOL and technical certificate training using the Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model. CIET hosts the NYC Welcome Back Center, part of the national Welcome Back Initiative for immigrant healthcare professionals. Recent workforce programs include ESOL Bridge to Healthcare Careers; NY-BEST National Council Licensure Examination for Nurses for English Language Learners, NY-BEST ESOL Bridge to the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Exam for Foreign Trained Physicians, and NY-BEST ESOL Bridge to Accounting.


For more information on the NYC Welcome Back Center, visit:


With the introduction to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, CIET is poised to coordinate relevant workforce training using innovative, contextualized ESOL lessons in a variety of relevant industries.

CIET programs in ESOL Workforce instruction have included:

Customer Service Skills, based on an industry-wide set of customer service and sales standards from the National Retail Federation, including the option of taking the National Retail Federation's Customer Service Certification exam at the end of the course.

Bridge to Allied Health Careers, designed to upgrade the English-language skills of immigrants who are interested in and qualified to join the healthcare industry, including connecting students to Medical Assistant, Certified Nurses Aide, Phlebotomy and Home Health Aide training.

The Hotel TEACH (Teaching English and Careers in Hospitality) Curriculum, created to address the needs of immigrant adults employed in “back of the house” jobs in hotels. To download a copy of The Hotel TEACH curriculum visit

Bridge to Financial Services, created with funding by the CUNY Workforce Development Initiative to train ELLs with backgrounds in accounting or financial services in relevant workplace English:

For more sample program models and resources for serving English Language Learners, visit the January 2015 “WIOA: What Now? Practice and Policy Webinar Series,” co-sponsored by the National College Transition Network/World Education and LaGuardia Community College/CUNY:

What our students and employers say:

I learned how to communicate with guests. Before I couldn't do extra rooms. Now I take responsibility and can do more work. It is important to work together and have good relationships with co-workers and managers. I feel great about the program. I learned so much.
- Hotel TEACH student

The people from this program now have a sense of "our company," understanding our guests and our business. They show enthusiasm and passion for their work. I see much more of that. They put in a lot of hard work and effort.
- Sheraton Hotel Manager

CIET is a proud recipient of a National Council for Continuing Education and Training Exemplary Program Award in recognition of CIET’s exemplary training in healthcare fields and a Continuing Education Association of New York award for Outstanding Continuing Education Instructor (2011).