A class of English language learners at Portland Adult Education (PAE) spent all semester researching careers. Students in Shoshana Hoose’s ESOL5 class then presented a Career Fair on March 22 at the school.
Their reports are displayed on 10 panels that will remain on the walls of PAE’s basement through the end of March. The public is invited to view them.
“We hope that (the Career Fair) will help other students at Portland Adult Education learn about careers in Maine and the U.S.,” the class wrote, in an article about the project.
The students wrote reports about a wide range of careers: TV reporter; human resources manager; accountant; phlebotomist; administrative assistant; interpreter; bus mechanic; data systems engineer; management analyst; chef; maintenance technician; medical assistant; interior designer; newspaper editor; teacher; electrician; and receptionist.
Students used PAE’s computer lab to gather information about the education and training required for each career, the places in Maine that provide that education and the costs involved. They also found out about skills needed for each job, average wages and the outlook for future employment.
The project taught students how to provide evidence to back up their claims. They used websites run by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Maine Department of Labor, FAME Maine and other reputable sources.
Each student also had the opportunity to interview someone working in his or her chosen career. In some cases, that led to mentoring relationships with the interviewee.
Students wrote several drafts of their career reports. They also prepared oral presentations for the Career Fair. Other PAE classes attended the event, along with the students’ family members, friends and tutors, interviewees and other guests.
“This project helped us to understand the career we want and the training required,” students wrote. “…We also learned how to interview, and we practiced the English language.”
Portland Adult Education is located at 14 Locust Street in Portland.