Contextualized ESL/ESOL classes for immigrant professionals

I am creating a list of ESL/ESOL programs that provide contextualized classes designed for specific professions (i.e., classes that teach professional medical terminology as opposed to just teaching English).

Does anyone know of programs that offer these services? I'm looking specifically for programs that teach English terminology for the following professions (but welcome suggestions outside of these fields as well): Dentistry, Engineering and Pharmacology.


Emma Brown


I would also suggest the Adult Career Pathways Support Center website.  The website has lots of contextualized instructional materials and you can search it by the type of resource and career cluster.  You do need to register for the website to access the resources, but everything is free! [edited by admin to fix broken link]


I am checking with adult ESOL programs in Florida for a response to this request.  I have heard of these courses being offered at Miami Dade College and Miami Dade County Public Schools, but I am sure there are others.

The ESOL practitioners in Florida developed a base-line ESOL course called English Literacy for Career and Technical Education  in 2000 which offers specialized instruction to the higher levels of ESL (Low Intermediate, High Intermediate, and Advanced) to prepare them for entering Career and Technical Education (CTE)courses. The acronym of the course is ELCATE, and it does not include competencies that teach any specific profession by itself.  However, schools have been very innovative in adding specific profession-based lessons to the base curriculum of the course.  As far as I know, the professions that are contextualized using ELCATE do not provide students with a post-secondary degree.

It is important to note that in the southernmost counties of Florida, starting wth Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe (The Keys), the majority of students in the CTE programs have an ESOL background.  These counties have communties in which the people are mostly from one country or linguistic group and speak the language of that country or group.  When the CTE classes have a majority of students who are also English Language Learners, the instructional strategies used in teaching the content of the course need to focus on second language acquisition at the same time.  Fortunately, many of the instructors often are former ESOL students, and have invaluable practical experience as well as mentoring capabilities.

Phil Anderson

Florida Department of Education Adult ESOL Program



Thank you for looking into this further--you've been very helpful. Any chance that you would know of programs that specialize in addressing the ESL needs of high-skilled immigrants, such as those that obtained a college degree or advanced certification prior to immigrating to the US?