Practical tools, activities, and resources
to guide instruction

Next Steps

The online resources on this page are alphabetized within topics and include those from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) as well as other freely available online resources. We invite you to visit the CAL websites described in the right sidebar for more information we think you will find helpful.

Second Language Acquisition

  • Principles of Instructed Second Language Acquisition
  • Second Language Acquisition in Adults: From Research to Practice
  • Teaching Grammar to Adult English Language Learners: Focus on Form

Teaching Speaking, Listening, and Pronunciation

  • Conversation Questions for the ESL/EFL Classroom (Internet TESL Journal)
  • Facilitating Adult Learner Interactions to Build Listening and Speaking Skills
  • Improving Adult English Language Learners' Speaking Skills
  • Improving Adult ESL Learners’ Pronunciation Skills
  • Improving ESL Learners' Listening Skills: At the Workplace and Beyond  
  • Issues in Teaching Speaking Skills to Adult ESL Learners (Kathleen M. Bailey)
  • Spontaneous Conversations: A Window into Language Learner’s Autonomy (Dominique Brillanceau)
  • Teaching for Communicative Competence: Interaction in the ESOL Classroom (Donna Moss)
  • Teaching Pronunciation to Adult English Language Learners  
  • The Relationship Between Reading and Speaking Skills: An Interview with Ann Hilferty
  • Using Oral Language Skills to Build on the Emerging Literacy of Adult English Learners

Language Proficiency and Assessment

  • Adventures in Assessment (SABES)
  • Assessing Success in Family Literacy and Adult ESL (Daniel Holt and Carol Van Duzer)
  • Effects of Instructional Hours and Intensity of Instruction on NRS Level Gain in Listening and Speaking
  • Equipped for the Future Assessment Report: How Instructors Can Support Adult Learners Through Performance-Based Assessment (Sri Ananda)
  • Formative Assessments Background – ESL (Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers)
  • Student Performance Level (SPL) Descriptors for Reading and Writing

Study Circles
Study circles are a great tool to read and discuss second language acquisition theory and research and to evaluate its applications to adult education practice.

The CAELA Guide for Adult ESL Trainers is available online and provides a wealth of information you may find useful to guide your next steps. If you are interested in exploring these topics with other adult ESL practitioners in your area, download

  • Study Circle on Second Language Acquisition
  • Study Circle on Teaching Speaking Listening, and Pronunciation

Read more information about conducting and participating in study circles

Other Resources Related to Adult ESL Instruction

  • Beginning to Work with Adult English Language Learners: Some Considerations  
  • Evidence-Based, Student-Centered Instructional Practices
  • Out of Your Seats: Interactive Games for the Adult ESOL Classroom (Jane Miller and Pat Kirby)
  • Practitioner Toolkit for Working with Adult English Language Learners
  • Promoting Learner Engagement When Working With Adult English Language Learners  
  • Promoting Learner Transitions to Postsecondary Education and Work: Developing Academic Readiness Skills From the Beginning
  • Reading and Adult English Language Learners: A Review of the Research
  • Working with Adult English Language Learners with Limited Literacy: Research, Practice, and Professional Development  
  • Working With Literacy-Level Adult English Language Learners  
  • Workplace Instruction and Workforce Preparation for Adult Immigrants

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