ESL Resources
State Capacity Building

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Do you have a question?

CAELA--The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition

CAELA’s Mission

CAELA was created to help states build their capacity to promote English language learning and academic achievement of adults learning English. Funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, CAELA accomplishes its mission through the following tasks:

  • Leading an initiative to build state capacity for improving the skills of teachers and administrators in adult ESL programs
  • Developing an easy-to-use repository of resources (e.g., research studies, instructional curricula, information on language acquisition) that are accessible through the CAELA Web site
  • Producing easily accessible materials that synthesize research and make applications to practice
  • Developing a toolkit of training materials for professional developers
  • Providing technical assistance to adult ESL teachers, programs, and states


U.S. Census Bureau data from 2000 show that many states have experienced an over 90% increase in their immigrant population since 1990. At the same time, the challenges facing adult education teachers in all states remain the same—many only work part-time; there is high teacher turnover; and tight budgets allow for only limited professional development.

To assist states in meeting these challenges, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is pleased to announce the opening of CAELA, the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. CAELA’s mission is to help states--particularly those that have recently begun serving adult English language learners-- build their capacity to improve the skills of teachers and administrators in adult English as a second language (ESL) programs.

CAELA will also make research findings and evidence-based resources available to practitioners working with adult English language learners across the nation.

CAELA replaces the National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE), which was operated by CAL from 1989 to 2004 and provided technical assistance to all who work with adult English language learners.