ESL for Entrepreneurship / Business Start-Up (Blended Learning Curriculum)

Dear friends,

I am writing to introduce you to Grand Café, a VESL program about an aspiring immigrant woman entrepreneur from Mexico named Sylvia.   Sylvia and her friends are on an adventure to start up their own businesses in the U.S. while improving their English.  

I created the idea for Grand Café and worked on it over 9 years under a non-profit that I founded and ran for over a decade (which closed years ago).  My team and I developed the curriculum based on our classroom training which initially started with a collaboration with Oakland Adult Education's ESL program.  

Last summer, I decided I wanted to revive Grand Café.  I felt the curriculum and program deserved to be out in the world. My vision is to create a "micro-enterprise" revolution through Grand Café whereby the most vulnerable populations of immigrants can learn the skills and English needed to start their own businesses. So I am excited to share a piece of it with you!

The curriculum consists of 6 episodes each featuring a soap opera (telenovela) video, an instructional video, workbook and a teacher’s guide.  It is meant for low and high-intermediate level English learners with some self-study combined with teacher instruction. 

Link to Episode 1 telenovela story:

Link to Episode 1 instructional portion:

At the end of episode 1, students will: 

- Understand the qualities of being an entrepreneur. 

- Understand the common barriers to starting a business and how to overcome them. 

- Understand networking and how they can network to start developing their business.

Episodes 2-6 are largely focused on financial literacy for small business start-up.  There are 18 episodes in all but we only got funding to do a pilot and then 6 complete episodes.  (It was a labor of love and took years to develop with a great team!)

I'd love to know if this is something you could see using in your teaching.  I'd welcome your ideas too for how this could be distributed to reach its intended audiences.

I look forward to sharing it with you!

Thank you!