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For Instructors

Second Language Acquisition

Second language acquisition (SLA) is the study of how second languages are learned and the factors that influence the process. Little research has been conducted on how English language learners in the adult education context learn English. Investigating issues of culture, language, and education and tracking learner progress over time are not easy when complicated by diverse and mobile learner populations and varied learning contexts. However, knowing about SLA research can be helpful to adult ESL teachers because the findings may be applicable to their students and their teaching context.

Please see the CAELA links and resources below on Second Language Acquisition.

CAELA Resources

The following publications offer information that might be helpful to individuals interested in how adults learn second languages.


Many of our digests address instructional practices that have emerged from second language acquisition theory and research. You may want to review CAELA's digest index page at to see if any topics would be of interest to you. You could also search the CAELA ESL Resource Database for further resources.