(from left to right) Madeleine Knight, San Jacinto College (SJC) education program manager; Angelica Cruz, SJC English as a Second Language (ESL) course instructor; National Strand employees and ESL students Martin Facio, Victor Cea, Jose Henao, and Emiliano Anguillon; and Jennifer McDonough, human resources assistant and safety coordinator with National Strand. Photo credit: Jeannie Peng-Armao, San Jacinto College marketing department
On-site English courses offered through San Jacinto College improve workplace safety and communications
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- June 7, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — For the first time, Emiliano Anguillon, father of five, is able to carry on a conversation with his children's teachers. It's a welcomed opportunity resulting from a partnership between his employer and San Jacinto College to allow for the delivery of English instruction for workplace safety.
Anguillon is a part of a group of employees at National Strand who were able to take advantage of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses taught on site by the San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division. The courses, ranging from one to four months, offer English skills with terms and instructions related directly to a worker's industry.
"English learners should be able to understand vocabulary and safety signs that are vital to the workplace," said Madeleine Knight, San Jacinto College education program manager. "Each of our ESL courses is customized to fit the needs of the various companies we serve. Once we begin teaching at a company, English learners are taught how to identify and report unsafe situations, recognize and warn others of potential workplace hazards, understand and follow directions, ask for clarification, and describe and respond to a workplace injury. It's really a win-win situation for an employee receiving the English instruction and for a company that is saving time by on-site courses."
Knight added that a recent U.S. Department of Labor study revealed that employers most often cite safety concerns for English proficiency as well as the ability to learn new technology taught in English. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicated that the lack of knowledge of safety hazards and language difficulties contributed to work-related deaths.
"Programs like these are extremely important," said Jennifer McDonough, human resources assistant and safety coordinator with National Strand. "We have many employees here who speak very little English. Being that safety is our number one priority, we knew we needed this for our employees to be able to comprehend and understand safety instructions and information. Until this point, many of them have understood the English instructions, but needed translations to be able to communicate back to us."
For Anguillon, learning a new language impacts more than just his job; it affects his personal life, and more importantly, his confidence.
"It's like I'm a different person now," said Anguillon. "I can walk with my head held high, instead of looking down, because I know I can speak English with others. This class is so important to me, my family, and to my job."
To find out more about the ESL courses offered through the San Jacinto College Continuing and Professional Development division, call 281-476-1838.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.