This self-paced professional development module comprises five main sections: Background, Oral Proficiency, Assessment, Instruction, and Next Steps. These sections build on one another and will take about two hours to complete if they are followed in sequence.
Each page is designed to be read in its entirety, with all major content found down the center. For each topic, we have highlighted valuable resources (digests, briefs, instructional tools, web links, etc.) and provided quick access to them through the sidebar on the right-hand side of each page.
In each section, you will find one or two short questionnaires designed to encourage reflection on your practices and beliefs regarding adult ESL instruction. Take a few minutes to read and respond to the questions, then see how your answers compare to other adult ESL instructors around the country. All responses are anonymous.
In creating this module, we drew on our expertise in assessing the oral proficiency of adults learning English using CAL’s standardized assessment tool BEST Plus. While it is not necessary for readers to use BEST Plus in their ESL programs—or even to be familiar with it—in order to effectively use this module, we do reference this assessment tool in our discussions of a framework for describing speaking and listening skills as the basis for our experience in this field. If your program does use the BEST Plus oral English language proficiency assessment, this module will help you understand how engaging students in communicative classroom activities can lead to gains on this assessment.