• Professor Betsey Parrish 

    Betsy Parrish

    Professor; TEFL and Adult ESL, Continuing Studies


    Betsy Parrish is a professor in the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and Adult ESL Certificate programs as well as in the MA TESOL in the School of Education. She has worked as an ESL/EFL teacher, teacher educator, writer and consultant for over 30 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 counties 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, providing support on English language teaching for schools and universities.

    Professor Parrish is the author of Teaching Adult English Language Learners: A Practical Introduction (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, cross-cultural communication, and learner-centered teaching practices. She is the co-founder of 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 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. Professor Parrish also provides support to local organizations and companies on working sensitively with linguistically diverse employees and clients. She has been a Subject Matter Expert on multiple US Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Adult Education (OCTAE) initiatives focused on standards-aligned, rigorous instruction for all adult learners, including LINCS ESL Pro Meeting the Language Needs of Today’s English Language Learner.

    Teaching Style

    Students taking classes from Professor Parrish will develop an understanding of the principles and practices of teaching adults English as a second or foreign 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