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.
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.
Funder: National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
Funder: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Language and National Security Education Office, National Security Education Program
Funder: Federal Trade Commission – Division of Consumer & Business Education
News and Resources
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
Plain language makes it easier for the public to read, understand, and use government communications. LEARN MORE
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
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.
This online course provides world language instructors with an understanding of the fundamentals of assessment. The course lasts five weeks and includes five units that require 2 hours each. Unit ... Read more
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
Annie Duguay, Lindsey Massoud, Lisa Tabaku, Jennifer Himmel, and Julie Sugarman