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ASU launches digital English courses, provides ESL training to Mexican educators and Syrian refugees

Through innovative digital platforms, ASU Global Launch becomes a university leader in online English language learning


Dr. Shane Dixon with course facilitators at the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan.

Senior educator Shane Dixon (second from left) with course facilitators at the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Photo courtesy of Shane Dixon

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February 09, 2018

In November, ASU launched digital English courses, becoming the only university to offer a comprehensive English language learning product ranging from basic to advanced English proficiency, as well as providing the only English-language product on the market that prepares students for university study and success in academia. 

Developed by ASU Global Launch, the online courses allow students to utilize digital technologies to enhance learning, engage all skill levels, learn from experienced ASU ESL instructors and researchers, and access hundreds of online resources. Additionally, students can watch videos, have discussions with educators and peers, and collaborate on assignments at any time from anywhere in the world.

Through these courses, ASU Global Launch, in partnership with Tec de Monterrey, has helped more than 850 teachers throughout Mexico improve their English proficiency and interact with colleagues in English on a national scale.

“I’d definitely recommend this resource to other teachers since they are tech-friendly and extremely guided. [It’s] almost as if you have a teacher with you at all times, within reach,” said learner Marisol Garcia.

In further efforts to expand the digital courses outside of Latin America, Global Launch ran an English language program for Syrian refugees. Senior educator Shane Dixon trained facilitators to lead discussion groups and English activities, then traveled to Jordan to both Al Azraq and Za’atari refugee camps to meet learners and understand the impact of the courses. Upon return there was one clear takeaway: Syrian refugees wanted English.

English, for many of the refugees, is access. Access to information, access to education and even access to other countries,” Dixon said. “If their English is good enough, the thinking goes, they will be better able to get jobs in Europe or other host countries that might accept them. English is a ticket.”

“English, for many of the refugees, is access. Access to information, access to education and even access to other countries.”
— Shane Dixon, ASU Global Launch

ASU and Global Launch hope to expand their global outreach through the digital English courses to create a broad community of world leaders and revolutionize the way that students around the world learn new languages.

ASU digital English courses are self-paced, accessible online from anywhere in the world and open for enrollment. Group discounts are available for institutions looking to facilitate courses in their home countries. You can learn more about the courses by clicking here or by contacting Dianna Lippincott at Dianna.Lippincott@asu.edu

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