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Network of Educators in the Workplace

“NEW Bridges the Gap between Education and Business”
by Gloria de la Ysla Heistein
November 2, 2000

A Northern California group of workplace educators have been meeting regularly for the past ten years to support one another’s efforts to teach mostly non-native employees in the workplace.

NEW, the Network of Educators in the Workplace, formerly known as the Workplace Literacy Support Group (WLSG) is a group of individuals, mostly instructors and administrators, who provide ESL (English as a Second Language), multicultural, or literacy training in high tech companies, factories, hospitals, agricultural environments, and other worksites from San Francisco to Santa Cruz.  However, the Santa Clara-based group is most active in Silicon Valley.

NEW’s  membership is a diverse group representing adult education, community colleges, universities, and private providers of workplace training.
NEW’s Mission Statement

The Network of Educators in the Workplace (NEW) is a professional organization committed to promoting workplace education by providing networking and educational resources in workplace training and communication.

NEW  is coordinated by a Steering Committee that volunteers to serve on various committees.  NEW  members take turns facilitating meetings, arranging for guest speakers, disseminating information, building membership, writing monthly newsletters, etc.
A wide variety of topics have been presented over the years:
    · evaluation  and assessment
    · customizing lessons and curriculum design
    · grants and marketing
    · contracts and fees
    · teaching accent improvement and pronunciation
    · writing in the workplace
    · TQM (Total Quality Management)
    · organizational development
    · computer programs for training
    · a company’s perspective of workplace ESL
    · conflict resolution, legal issues
    · finding one’s niche in workplace ESL
    · intercultural communication in the workplace
    · an academic in mania
    · manufacturing and language simulation games
    · FAQ’s about what it really takes to teach English in the workplace

Since the 99/00 school year, NEW has scaled down from monthly to bimonthly meetings.
This was done in part so that members could support organizations such as CATESOL
and TESOL, both of which have workshops on Workplace ESL.   Members of NEW pioneered a TEW-IG (Teachers of English in the Workplace) for CATESOL. TEW’s webpage can be accessed through

Meetings alternate between the third Thursday evening or the third Friday morning of every other month during the academic year.  Meetings are at various local restaurants.
Information on the meetings can be accessed on NEW’s website:

The socializing and networking that takes place before and after the official program is an extremely valuable time for members, who welcome the opportunity to share experiences and encourage one another’s efforts.  Often alliances and partnerships are formed as a result of this networking.

NEW’s membership is open to anyone who supports its goals.  One need only contact
Gennie Dean at with membership info (name, company, title, phone number, address and e-mail).

To be added to the bimonthly newsletter, send a message with the subject “Subscribe NEW’s Cyberletter” to Gloria Heistein at

NEW’s  ability to provide a venue for both experienced and novice trainers has made it a valuable resource for educators of English as a Second Language in the Workplace.
By supporting and educating its members, NEW helps bridge the gap between education and business.

NEW is always interested in having speakers who can address workplace topics of interest to members. Contact Gloria Heistein at with any ideas for topics or speakers.

NEW members have just recently collaborated on an FAQ brochure that will soon be submitted to both the NEW and TEW websites.  They will also share their brochure at
the No. CA Regional Conference in November 2000 with the hopes of a similar presentation at the CATESOL state conference in  April 2001.

About the author:
Gloria De La Ysla Heistein owns InterLect, a company which offers on-site English as a Second Language instruction, curriculum design and consulting in Silicon Valley. Gloria works with ESL professionals and employees from a variety of industries: biotech, computer, semiconductor, space, medical and manufacturing. Gloria holds two Master’s degrees (MA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and MA TESOL from San Jose State University). Her BA is in French and Russian. Gloria teaches ESL at De Anza College where she is also helps coordinate the Cross Cultural Partners Program.  Currently, she serves as Consultant SIG Co-Chair of Silicon Valley ASTD,  Steering Team member of NEW and Webmaster of TEW.

updated: Nov. 3, 2000 pah