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State Capacity Building

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CAELA States' Capacity Building Activities

Listed below are the major areas that 24 CAELA state teams have been working on in 2006. CAELA state teams are conducting many different activities, but we have highlighted some of their major areas of work, as referenced in their CAELA state plans. We’ve done this so that all states can see what each state is working on. For more information about a particular state’s CAELA activities, please contact Lynda Terrill at

Alabama: Alabama’s focus areas are to prepare adult ESL practitioners to work with multilevel classes and to develop in-state trainers to train teachers. This year CAELA staff trained teachers in the multilevel lesson planning module of the draft CAELA Guide.

Arizona: Arizona is encouraging the development of professional learning communities by holding informational meetings with adult ESL program directors. They are also determining teacher needs through a survey and will use this information to plan professional development.

Arkansas: Arkansas’s focus area is to provide new and experienced teachers with the knowledge and skills they need by providing training in lesson planning with follow-up activities conducted by local programs.

Colorado: Colorado is developing a cadre of in-state trainers to deliver professional development to adult ESL practitioners. Colorado’s CAELA team has conducted train-the-trainer sessions  and co-trained with the new trainers. They have also adapted the writing workshop module from the draft CAELA Guide to use in these trainings.

Georgia: Georgia is training trainers in two workshop modules from the draft CAELA Guide—on assessing learner needs and effective lesson planning. These trainers will, in turn, be training teachers throughout the state.

Hawaii: Hawaii is following up on CAELA training on teaching strategies for adult English language learners through video-conferencing with a CAELA staff member in Washington, DC. They are also examining ways to integrate technology into instructional planning.

Indiana: Indiana is training new and experienced teachers in the reading and writing workshop modules from the draft CAELA Guide. The state team and practitioners are also piloting the workplace study circle from the CAELA Guide, with two groups using the traditional face-to-face format and two groups doing the study circle in an online format.

Kansas: Kansas is conducting study circles throughout the state using the Teaching Beginning Levels and Teaching Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation study circles from the draft CAELA Guide.

Kentucky: Kentucky is focusing on creating learning stations for use in multilevel adult ESL classroom and plans on training teachers in teaching strategies through a video series. Kentucky adult ESL practitioners also were able to attend the first ESL summer workshop to train teachers and to promote the visibility of adult ESL among the counties.

Maryland: Maryland is exploring the use of training teachers in state content standards by using online technology. The state team and practitioners have also developed a series of study circles on teaching strategies for adult English language learners. These study circles use a combination of readings and videos to train teachers.

Nebraska: Nebraska hosted its first ESL workshop specifically for teachers of adult English language learners. The Nebraska state team and state practitioners are examining ways of conducting follow-up activities for the summer workshop, especially on the topic of teaching reading to adult English language learners, as well as exploring the use of online study circles.

Nevada: Nevada is training teachers in writing objectives and planning lessons for the EL/Civics objectives currently being incorporated into their ESL content standards. Nevada also hosted a CAELA trainer who provided study circle facilitation training to their trainers.

New Mexico: New Mexico has four regional community gatherings each year with adult ESL offerings at each one. Materials from the draft CAELA Guide on teaching listening, speaking, and pronunciation and on teaching beginning levels were used this past year to respond to the needs of teachers, as reflected in a recent survey.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma is working with a CAELA trainer to train a new cadre of trainers in lesson planning and second language acquisition. After an initial training, the new trainers will be co-training with the CAELA trainer. The new trainers will then conduct training in various regions of the state.

Rhode Island: Rhode Island is building a professional development infrastructure with their new Professional Development Center. The Rhode Island team has also used the workplace study circle from the draft CAELA Guide and this activity became the impetus for  forming a study group of workplace adult ESL teachers that continues to meet each month.

South Carolina: South Carolina has been focusing on designing and delivering a course for new adult ESL teachers. The course covers the basics of teaching adult English language learners and participants can receive graduate credit for completing the course.

South Dakota: South Dakota’s focus is building a network through an adult ESL blog to facilitate teachers’ sharing ideas and solutions to problems. The South Dakota team is also revising their ESL Start-Up Kit and ESL Manual, and developing a five year professional development plan based on the data they have gathered.

Tennessee: Tennessee is focusing on adult ESL assessment and lesson planning. Workshops in both areas have been followed up through the state’s adult ESL electronic discussion list.

Texas: Texas is focusing on training teachers in multilevel lesson planning for adult English language learners and assisting students transitioning to ABE/GED programs. Workshops for each of these areas were piloted at one professional development center and are now being replicated across the state.

Utah: Utah has conducted a teacher background and needs assessment survey and will be offering training based on the teacher needs expressed in the survey.

Virginia: Virginia is planning to use study circles as follow-up training to workshops. The Virginia state team will be using the reading and writing workshop modules and the speaking, listening and pronunciation study circle from the draft CAELA Guide and, using the Guide format, have written companion pieces to go along with these, including study circles for reading and writing and a workshop module for speaking, listening, and pronunciation.

Washington: Washington has completed a comprehensive teacher background survey and needs assessment. As a result of teacher needs, Washington is offering the reading and writing workshop modules from the draft CAELA Guide.

West Virginia: West Virginia has developed a training for new teachers of adult English language learners and is offering it in different regions of the state. With CAELA support, the team has incorporated ESL information in the CD of resources given participants at their adult education technology training.

Wisconsin: Wisconsin’s area of focus is helping instructors write good lesson plans for multilevel classes. The Wisconsin state team is providing training in this with follow-up sessions designed to be done by local programs.

To view last year's state summmaries, click here.