Adult English Language Education

As an international leader in the education of adults who are acquiring English as an additional language, CAL focuses on the language and cultural skills that adults must develop to succeed in careers, continuing education, and the community. CAL’s expertise spans all proficiency levels, from ESL for adults beginning to learn English through English for business and professional purposes. In addition, CAL has begun work promoting equity and inclusion through plain language which is directly aligned with CAL’s mission and values. CAL works with federal, state, and local agencies; institutions of higher education; and non-profit and for-profit private sector organizations. Our work ensures that adults who speak English as an additional language have access to the educational opportunities they need to become fully engaged, empowered members of their community, including being able to use and understand public-facing communication.  

CAL grounds its work in state-of-the-art research on plain language, adult second language acquisition, adult learning outcomes, and best practices in the education of adults, following a research-to-practice approach for all projects. For adult language education, 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. For plain language work, CAL tailors workshops and trainings to the specific needs of the client while following the Federal plain language guidelines.  

CAL is an ESL strand partner with the Coalition for Adult Basic Education (COABE) and a member of the National Coalition for Literacy, two organizations leading the way in advocacy work for adult language learners. CAL is also a member of the Center for Plain Language and PLAIN International.

Services

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.

Learn more.

Related Projects

Bienvenidos Project
Bienvenidos Project

Funder: National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA)
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA)

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) Network
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) Network

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education

English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS)
English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS)

Funder: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, National Security Education Program

Federal Trade Commission Accessible Language Projects
Federal Trade Commission Accessible Language Projects

Funder: Federal Trade Commission – Division of Consumer & Business Education

Online Professional English Writing Program
Online Professional English Writing Program

Funder: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, via subcontract from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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News and Resources

Access and Equity through Clear Communication
Access and Equity through Clear Communication

Unclear, overly complex, or specialized language use can impede communication in a variety of societal contexts. It can limit accessibility to critically important government programs through cumbersome, confusing applications for ... Read more

plainlanguage.gov
plainlanguage.gov

Plain language makes it easier for the public to read, understand, and use government communications. LEARN MORE

ESL Volunteer Guide
ESL Volunteer Guide

Volunteering in ESL is a rewarding service to the community. This guide presents basic strategies for teaching ESL as well as further resources to facilitate positive experiences in the many ... Read more

What is Plain Language?
What is Plain Language?

Unclear, overly complex, or specialized language use can impede communication in a variety of societal contexts, and it can be intimidating and unwelcoming. Within the public school system specifically, difficult language can prevent parents and caregivers from understanding services they are entitled to and regulations affecting them or their children.

Consumer Protection Websites – Free Online Resources
Consumer Protection Websites – Free Online Resources

CAL worked with the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission to provide support for the English language consumer protection website and a parallel Spanish language site:  www.consumer.gov / www.consumidor.gov Browse ... Read more

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