Photo of Hamline faculty member Betsy Parrish

Betsy Parrish

Professor - Education
Work space: St. Paul Main Campus > West Hall > West Hall WEST 231

Betsy Parrish is a professor in the TESOL Program, teaching in the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), Adult ESL Certificate, the ABE Licensure program, and the MATESOL. She has worked as an ESL/EFL teacher, teacher educator, writer and consultant for over 35 years. After teaching in France for five years, Professor Parrish started the TEFL Program at Hamline in 1991 and graduates from that program have taught in over 50 countries around the world. She also offered the TEFL course to teachers in Russia in 1993. She led a US State Department Grant for teachers from India and Bangladesh, and was a Fulbright Specialist in Vietnam. Most recently, she has worked as a US Department of State English language specialist with educators in Vietnam, developing guidelines for establishing Communities of Practice as a professional development model for English teachers.

Professor Parrish authored Teaching Adult English Language Learners (Cambridge University Press 2019) and Four Point: Advanced Listening and Speaking (University of Michigan Press 2014). She is a frequent presenter at state, national and international conferences on adult education issues, including academic and career readiness, workplace ESL, culturally inclusive teaching, differentiation, and learner-centered teaching practices. She is co-founder of the  ABE Teaching and Learning Advancement System (ATLAS) at Hamline, which provides professional development for adult basic education teachers throughout Minnesota.

Professor Parrish was on the development team of a 12-part video series for adult ESL educators, Teaching ESL to Adults: Classroom Approaches in Action, and has participated in the development of the Transitions Integration Framework, which serves to support the integration of transitions skills at all levels of instruction in adult ESL and adult basic education. She has worked on several projects for the US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, including Teaching the Skills that Matter in Adult Education and ESLPro. Professor Parrish often provides support to local organizations and companies on working sensitively with linguistically diverse employees and clients.

Students taking classes from Professor Parrish will develop an understanding of the principles and practices of teaching adults English as an additional language. She has particular expertise in learner-centered, communicative language teaching, course design, phonetics and phonology, and the development of academic and career readiness skills. She uses a highly interactive and experiential approach to teaching and learning.

“I want students leaving my courses to make language come alive for English language learners. As language teachers, I want them to recognize the intersection between language development, culture, and learners’ prior knowledge and experiences.”

—Betsy Parrish

Teaching Adult English Language Learners: A Practical Introduction

Video: Teaching ESL to Adults: Approaches in Action

Teaching the Skills that Matter in Adult Education

Transitions Integration Framework

CAELA Network Briefs

Curriculum Vitae