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CAELA Currents September 2005

About CAELA Currents

This newsletter is published quartely by the Center for Adult English Acquisition at the Center for Applied Linguistics and is offered free of charge. If you have information that you would like us to consider including in the newsletter, please contact the editor at

To subscribe to CAELA Currents, send a message to

This publication was prepared with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, under contract no. ED-04-CO-0031/0001

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education (ED)


September Articles

CAELA Redesigns Web Site

CAELA Technical Work Group Meeting to be Held

Web Cast for Even Start Programs

New CAELA Brief on Applying Findings from Research to Practice

Two new CAELA Briefs Coming This Fall

CAELA Annotated Bibliography on Online Resouces for Professional Development

New CAELA Staff

Training of Trainers Guide


CAELA Redesigns Web Site

Staff members at the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA) are happy to announce that CAELA’s Web site has been redesigned and is available for use. The URL of our home page remains the same, as does our goal of providing technical assistance and resources for practitioners, programs, and states that assist adults learning English.

The paths to CAELA resources have been reorganized and are accessible by the left navigation bar, quicklinks with a drop-down menu, and a search feature on every page.

Several features to the CAELA Web site have been added, including


The URLs for most of CAELA’s resources have changed, but briefs, digests, bibliographies, and collections are easily accessible from the navigation bar and “quicklinks.”

If you can't find a CAELA resource you need, email CAELA at

The CAELA Web site is continually being developed, so watch for new developments in the coming months.


CAELA Technical Work Group Meeting to be Held

The second annual CAELA Technical Work Group (TWG) meeting will be held October 20-21 at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. The role of the TWG is to provide guidance to CAELA staff on information and technical assistance needs of ESL teachers of adult education, administrators, and professional development providers, including those in states with emerging ESL populations. TWG members also provide guidance on establishing an infrastructure for training and technical assistance, and on development and dissemination of effective materials and resource collections.

The following are members of CAELA’s TWG:

State level representatives: Sandra Belitza-Vasquez, NY; Patricia DeHesus-Lopez, IL; Miriam Kroeger, AZ; Federico Salas-Isnardi, TX; and Karen Valbrun, GA

Local program representative: Brigitte Marshall, Oakland, CA

Researcher: Kathy Escamilla, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

During this second annual meeting, TWG members will hear reports of Year 1 activities including the CAELA state capacity-building initiative and development of resources. TWG members will give suggestions on upcoming publications and activities for Year 2.

Also attending the meeting will be

CAELA staff members Joy Peyton, Miriam Burt, Lynda Terrill, Carol Van Duzer, Kirsten Schaetzel, Julie Mathews-Aydinli, Sarah Young, and Regina Van Horne

CAELA partner Andy Nash from World Education

Staff from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE) Daniel Miller, Lynn Spencer, Ursula Lord, and Rachael Bambenek

Look for a report of this meeting in the January 2006 newsletter.


Web Cast for Even Start Programs

Two CAELA staff members participated in a Web cast for Even Start State Coordinators. The U.S. Department of Education, in response to requests made at the Even Start annual business meeting in August 2004, hosted a series of three interactive Web casts addressing the adult education component in Even Start programs. Designed specifically for Even Start State Coordinators, the information provided is also useful to anyone in the field of family literacy or adult education. The Web cast was developed by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).

Each Web cast, which includes panel presentations, PowerPoint slides, and discussion, will be archived on NCFL’s sWeb page through December 2005, at


The goals of the series were to:

  • Increase understanding of scientifically based reading research in the field of adult education;
  • Expand knowledge of adult reading assessments and their connection to instructional practice; and
  • Offer a variety of scientifically based strategies that can be shared with program staff


The Web casts focused on the following topics:

  • Scientifically based reading research in adult education—June 30, 2005
  • Reading assessment in adult education programs and its relation to instruction—July 28, 2005—CAELA staff member Carol Van Duzer spoke about reading assessments for adult English language learners.
  • Research-based instructional strategies—September 22, 2005—CAELA staff member Miriam Burt spoke about instructional strategies for teaching reading to adult English language learners.


For more information, contact Miriam Burt at


New CAELA Brief on Applying Findings from Research to Practice by CAELA partners Cristine Smith, Kathryn Harris, and Stephen Reder, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL)

Teachers of adult English language learners, like many teachers today, have heard about the need to apply the latest research findings to their instruction. How can they do this? This brief describes why research is important to the instruction of adult English language learners, defines scientifically based research and evidence-based instruction, explains what we know about how to help teachers use research, gives an example of teachers using research to improve their instruction, and lists places where research-based resources can be accessed. It is available on CAELA's Website and can be downloaded at

The brief highlights a study on pair work completed at the Lab School at Portland State University (PSU) ( The Lab School involves collaboration between a local English as a second language (ESL) program ( Portland Community College, in the Portland, Oregon area) and researchers at PSU, one of NCSALL’s partners. The research conducted at the Lab School focused on how beginning-level adult ESL students acquire English as a second language. NCSALL worked with five western states— California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to hold a Practitioner Knowledge Institute for teachers and professional developers. In October 2004 and May 2005, NCSALL held institutes where teachers, professional developers, and researchers reviewed the latest research from the Lab School, planned ways to use strategies suggested by the research in their own instruction, and shared their experiences using these strategies. The brief describes the interesting, perhaps even surprising findings discussed at the institute on the role of pair work in facilitating the acquisition of English as a second language.

For more information about the brief or about the Lab School, contact Cristine Smith at


Two New CAELA Briefs Coming This Fall

 Online Professional Development for Adult ESL Educators by Karen Taylor, Arlington ( Virginia) Education and Employment Program (REEP), and Julie Mathews-Aydinli, CAELA

This brief reviews research on the value of online professional development for adult ESL educators, describes professional development models, reviews recent efforts to provide systematic online professional development in adult ESL education, highlights current online courses and resources, and explores possible directions for online professional development.


Adolescent Learners in Adult ESL Classes by Sarah Young, CAELA

Adolescents in adult education programs in the United States have been a small but stable population in recent years. The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education reports that in 2003-2004, there were nearly 1.2 million adult English language learners enrolled in adult education programs, 44% of all enrollees in adult education. Of those, 14% were adolescents aged 16-18. This brief describes the characteristics of adolescent learners and the reasons why they attend adult ESL classes. It concludes with guidelines for adult ESL programs, instructors, and communities to improve adolescent ELLs’ chances of success in and beyond adult ESL programs.



CAELA Annotated Bibliography on Online Resources for Professional Development compiled by Regina Van Horne, CAELA

As the number of English language learners increases across the country, resources are needed to help states and programs build capacity for professional development. In response to this need, CAELA has created an annotated bibliography describing and linking to professional development resources available online. The bibliography discusses several high-quality resources available for use in designing and implementing professional development in adult English as a second language (ESL) education. These resources include training modules, curricula, research findings, and opportunities for networking. The bibliography is available online at

If you know of other online resources that should be included in this bibliography, please contact CAELA staff at


New CAELA Staff

In September CAELA welcomed two new staff members— Julie Mathews-Aydinli and Kirsten Schaetzel.

Julie Mathews-Aydinli is Program Associate for CAELA. She has a Ph.D. in Second Language Education from McGill University. She has worked as an ESL/English as a foreign language (EFL) instructor in North America and abroad, and in recent years as an assistant professor of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at Bilkent University in Turkey. Her research interests have focused on the social contexts of academic literacy development, genre-based studies of writing in different disciplines, and curriculum development. Her publications have appeared in journals such as the Journal of Literacy Research,International Studies Perspectives, and Higher Education. CAELA looks forward to working with Julie on publications and teacher training activities.

Kirsten Schaetzel is Program Associate for CAELA. She has a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Boston University and an MATESL from the University of Illinois. Her research focused on an adult literacy project in Bangladesh. She has over twenty years of teaching experience and has worked in teacher training in Singapore, Macao, Bangladesh, and the United States. She also has experience in curriculum and materials development, academic literacy, and monitoring bilingual and special education programs. She is co-author of Think Your Way to Effective Writing (Pearson/Prentice-Hall). Kirsten will be working on the state capacity-building initiative.

For information about other CAELA staff members, go to


Training of Trainers Guide

Work is on the CAELA Guide for Adult ESL Trainers is ongoing. The guide is composed of high-quality training materials for each participant in the CAELA state (Haven’t they been billed as “regional” training sessions?) training meetings that CAELA conducted last spring. The guide also will be used in the regional training meetings that are scheduled for xxxx, 2006. The guide contains resources that will enable professional developers and training staff from states with emerging ESL populations to train their local program staff so they can improve English language instruction and learner achievement.

The guide will be responsive to state professional development teams’ needs, which will be determined during the state training meetings. Therefore, CAELA staff will develop parts of the guide each year and pilot them at the state training meetings.

After a survey of the state teams and feedback from CAELA’s TWG and OVAE, CAELA has decided that the following topics will be ready to pilot at the next CAELA state meetings in 2006:


CAELA Guide for Adult ESL Trainers


Table of Contents



Who is the audience for the guide?

What is in the guide and how is it organized?

How can the guide be used?


Training Material

Training tips (information useful for organizing and conducting trainings, for beginning and experienced trainers to use in building state capacity, including training volunteer tutors)

Sample professional development models

Information on how to conduct a study circle

Information on how to set up peer coaching and mentoring

Forms to use for training trainers

Information on how to observe classroom instruction (for peer coaches and mentors)

Workshop Modules

Assessing learner needs

Using alternative assessments

Applying classroom assessment practices

Lesson planning (including lesson planning for multilevel classes)

Teaching reading

Teaching writing

Using the TESOL Program Standards for program review


Study Guides for Study Circles and Mentoring

Teaching second language acquisition

Teaching beginning levels

Teaching listening and speaking (including pronunciation)

Introducing workplace education


How to Use the CAELA Web Site

Overview of Web site

Use of the Web site for professional development, classroom instruction, and research

Resources for the Trainer

Internet resources

Multimedia resources

Print resources

For more information about the Guide, contact Miriam Burt at