Myth vs Fact: Are Workplace ESL Programs — Truly — Valuable?

Entrada ESL
Mar 4, 2020 · 3 min read

Erin Janklow, Founder and CEO, Entrada ESL,

Does your company benefit when employees and supervisors can communicate basic information to each other and to guests?

In a word, yes.

Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about language learning in the workplace. We hope this will spark conversations that lead to a more inclusive environment for your limited-English staff.

Myth #1: Employees don’t learn enough English to improve job performance.

Learning a new language, especially as an adult, doesn’t happen overnight. Our program is designed to put new language skills quickly into action in the workplace, so that basic tasks like scheduling are easier. Entrada works with supervisors and teams to set expectations and milestones for participating employees.

We have found employees that participate in our English Level 1 program greatly improved job performance because they felt more confident completing tasks independently and spoke more with their managers to clarify initial asks.

What’s more, as engagement on teams increased, so did supervisors’ productivity.

  • 89% of Entrada participants complete new tasks with independence
  • 92% of Entrada participants speak more with their managers than before the program

Myth #2: Employees don’t use (or give up on) workplace ESL programs even when offered.

That’s a common experience many employers have faced because current options aren’t designed with working adults in mind. Entrada developed its method to eliminate the barriers adult learners face in staying motivated and confident to practice.

We’ve also found employees are eager to learn, both at work and at their own pace. To ensure high completion rates, Entrada builds community in the workplace and uses in-person and digital support to teach and engage employees, so employers see and experience real results.

Myth #3: Workplace ESL programs are too time intensive.

In the past, workplace ESL programs relied upon lengthy, in-person classes or off-site locations to provide after-hours programming. Now, Entrada takes a new approach, blending daily tasks with active learning to maximize employees’ time without reducing productivity. It combines learning via technology with convenient, on-site review sessions to provide an efficient and effective learning environment. Employees spend more time speaking and practicing English each day and less time sitting in a classroom.

  • 10-minute lessons 3x a day
  • 1-hour review sessions on-site every other week
  • 86% more learning sessions than traditional weekly in-person classes (Monthly comparison: 30 Entrada sessions vs. 4 in-person sessions/week)

Myth #4: ESL programs aren’t worth the investment because employees don’t stay.

Research consistently shows employees that feel recognized and valued stay longer with their companies. Entrada specifically works to increase retention of limited-English speakers. As our participants begin practicing speaking English at work, they find there are more opportunities to connect with coworkers and supervisors, which increases their affinity for the company and boosts morale.

  • 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their career (LinkedIn Learning Report 2018)
  • 96% retention rate of Entrada programs, employees surveyed at least six months post program

More companies are considering how to build trust and loyalty amongst employees of all backgrounds. Language training for limited-English staff enables connections with coworkers, supervisors, and guests.

Day after day, those small connections lead to big changes in the workplace — as well as your local community.

For more information about our approach to workplace communications or request a demo, visit

Speak Up! A blog by Entrada ESL

Providing a strong, positive voice in the conversation about ESL needs, immigrant and domestic workers, and compassion for our neighbors.

Entrada ESL

Written by

Creating a communicative, compassionate workforce and society. Teaching staff English while they work to upskill and improve operations.

Speak Up! A blog by Entrada ESL

Providing a strong, positive voice in the conversation about ESL needs, immigrant and domestic workers, and compassion for our neighbors.

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