Adult English Language Education
Non-native speakers of English form a substantial and increasing proportion of the adult population in the United States. According to the American Community Survey, over 20% of U.S. residents now speak a language other than English at home. Immigrant dispersion has expanded from 5 states to 40 states over the past 20 years. Adult non-native speakers thus form a critical segment of the overall adult population.
As an international leader in the education of adults who are non-native speakers of English, CAL focuses on the language and cultural skills that these adults must develop to succeed in careers, continuing education, and the community. CAL’s expertise spans all proficiency levels, from ESL in adult basic education through English for business and professional purposes. CAL works with federal, state, and local agencies; institutions of higher education; and non-profit and for-profit private sector organizations to ensure that adults who speak English as an additional language have access to the educational opportunities they need to become fully engaged, empowered citizens.
CAL’s research-to-practice approach ensures that all project work is informed by current information on adult second language acquisition, adult learning outcomes, and best practices in the education of adults. CAL provides multiple forms of technical assistance to ensure that program design, instruction, materials, assessments, and policies all maintain a consistent focus on adult English learners’ success in education, the workplace, and the community. CAL’s experts also develop resources for practitioners and policymakers that are freely available for download.
CAL would be happy to discuss options for addressing the needs of your adult English learners.
CAL designed and manages English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS), an intensive program that enables adult native speakers of critical languages to develop the English proficiency they need to succeed in professional positions in the federal government. EHLS is funded by the National Security Education Program and is conducted in partnership with Georgetown University.
CAL staff members have been working with the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission on a variety of accessible language projects. These projects are designed to increase the FTC’s ability to convey essential consumer protection and fraud prevention messages to readers with low levels of literacy in English.
CAL provided technical assistance to the National Council of La Raza to provide vital services to NCLR’s network of affiliate organizations.
The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), housed at CAL, was created to help states build their capacity to promote English language learning and academic achievement of adults learning English.
The CAELA Network provided information and resources focusing on high quality professional development for educators working with adult English language learners.
CAL developed a set of curricular materials that will enable teachers to use the Consumer.gov and Consumidor.gov websites to develop content knowledge and the internet navigation skills of adult learners.
This publication aims to help practitioners improve services for adults learning English by describing the current state of education for these learners with a focus on topics such as professional development, instructional programs, and future directions in English literacy education and lifelong learning.
Improving the Quality of Instruction for Adult English Learners
CAL offers a variety of professional development and technical assistance services to enable practitioners to improve the quality of instruction offered to adults learning English so they are prepared for college, careers and citizenship. All CAL services build on evidence-based approaches and can be tailored to meet your needs and budget.
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Since the launch of a citywide system to advance adults' skills in Philadelphia, myPLACE - Philadelphia Literacy and Adult Career Education - nearly 1,500 Philadelphians have completed classes in basic education, GED preparation, or English as a Second Language.