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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 55  |  July 10, 2020

Outside ESL invites employers to invest in their employees’ futures with free English classes

Outside ESL offers employers the opportunity for their employees to learn English fundamentals along with life skills they can use right away at their jobs. Any businesses (e.g. hotels, restaurants) with five or more participating employees can sign up. The employees must sign up through the employer’s business.

For the last six years, Laguna Beach Unified School District has been offering free English classes to anyone in the City of Laguna Beach. Jeff Dippel, a Spanish teacher at Thurston Middle School, also runs the ESL classes for the city. The group receives funding from the California Adult Education Grant and has been running classes above the high school pool the last couple of years. 

Dippel says, “Currently, we have adapted our classes online and are trying to recruit larger businesses in the city.”

Outside ESL chairs

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Submitted photo

Classroom prior to COVID-19; classes have now been adapted for online

“I got involved in the progress through my involvement as a Spanish teacher in the Laguna Beach Unified School District. I was asked if I could help build the Adult ESL program, and I began teaching a night class two days a week. From there, we really wanted to get more enrollment, so we partnered with the city to bring the classes to local employees who wanted to learn English.” 

In addition to Dippel, Lindsay Mills also teaches classes.

“This past year, my company Outside ESL and the City of Laguna Beach teamed up to bring these classes to employees at local hotels/businesses. We really want larger businesses to see the value in investing in their employees’ future and help them to sign up for these free classes.”

As stated on, students and teachers meet twice a week for one-hour English lessons. Courses last a total of eight weeks. Each class provides employees with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the English language and to learn language that is specific to the employer’s business.

Outside ESL book

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Submitted photo 

Employers invest in their employees’ futures with Outside ESL

Dippel says, “So far, we have had great success with both the Surf and Sand hotel and The Ranch. I live in town so I still see many of our students and they are very thankful for the classes. I have probably taught over 150 people English over the last six years, and we had our biggest group ever of 50 in one session prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our goal is to train the employees (mainly housekeeping/dishwashing staff) in business English so they are able to progress in their jobs with the possibility of being cultivated into lifelong employees.

“Our work with the Surf and Sand and The Ranch has slowed down significantly due to COVID-19, but they have had employees in four classes during the past six months. I’m blown away by their kindness. They really care about their employees.” 

For more information, contact Jeff Dippel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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