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June 2010

State Update
New Briefs
Online Discussions
About Network News

Woman in front of computerNetwork News is published quarterly by the CAELA Network at the Center for Applied Linguistics and is offered free of charge. If you have any questions, or if you have information that you would like us to consider including in the newsletter, please contact the editor at

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Network News is prepared with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, under Contract No. ED-07-CO-0084.

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


BulletCAELA Network States Meet to Share Professional
      Development Activities and Outcomes

Teacher and studentsCAELA Network staff work in collaboration with states to facilitate sustained professional development for practitioners working with adults learning English. On April 29-30, 2010, a total of 44 participants from 12 state teams that have been receiving intensive professional development from the CAELA Network met in Washington, DC. The teams met to share resources and report on outcomes of the professional development activities in their state and to begin work on developing plans to sustain project activities.

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), US Department of Education, gave the opening presentation on the “Importance of Teacher Quality for Adult English Language Instruction.” Her comments focused on desired changes to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and concentrated on innovation in adult education, professionalization of the field, strengthening of the accountability system, building of the EL Civics program, and improving corrections education with a strong re-entry program. In addition, OVAE seeks stronger collaboration across agencies in the federal government (Adult Education, Homeland Security, Corrections Education, Department of Justice, Department of Labor) and with community colleges.

USA mapFor information about the goals and activities of the state teams and to download products they have developed, visit the State Activities page on the CAELA Network Web site.

Framework coverRead the Framework for Quality Professional Development for Practitioners Working With Adult English Language Learners, the guiding document for CAELA Network and the work of participating states.


BulletBriefs from CAELA Network

Man in front of computerCAELA Network briefs review topics of importance to the field of instruction for adults learning English, citing recent research on the topic and then describing how the research might be applied in the classroom. This spring, the following three briefs were published:

Professional Development for Experienced Teachers Working With Adult English Language Learners

This brief looks at the characteristics of experienced and expert teachers and describes the ways that these teachers differ from novice teachers. It discusses considerations involved in providing high-quality professional development for experienced teachers and suggests professional development models to meet the needs of these teachers.

Evidence-Based, Student-Centered Instructional Practices
This brief discusses evidence-based and student-centered instruction, gives examples of instructional approaches that are supported by evidence, and describes how teachers of adults learning English as a second language can work together in learning communities to increase their knowledge of and skills with student-centered instructional practices that are evidence-based.

Promoting Learner Transitions to Postsecondary Education and Work: Developing Academic Readiness Skills From the Beginning
This brief reviews the literature on the skills needed for adult English language learners to transition to academic study or work and offers examples of activities and strategies that can be used at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of ESL instruction to help learners develop these skills.

Browse the complete collection of CAELA Network Briefs.

Briefs in Development
Watch the CAELA Network Web site for briefs on Promoting Learner Engagement When Working With Adult English Language Learners and on Using Oral Skills to Build Literacy Skills of Learners With Emerging English Literacy.

BulletRecent Online Discussions

Woman in front of laptopRead highlights from two recent discussions held on the LINCS Adult English Language Acquisition (ELA) list that pertain to working with adult immigrant learners with emerging literacy skills.

Teaching Adult English Language Learners with Emerging Literacy Skills
February 22 – 26, 2010
Patsy Vinogradov and Martha Bigelow of the University of Minnesota facilitated a discussion in which participants shared their successes and challenges in working with adolescent and adult English language learners who are emerging readers. The discussion focused on how to integrate meaningful content into instruction that enables learners to achieve alphabetic print literacy.

Read the description, summary, and transcripts of the discussion.

The Literacy Development of ESL Beginners: Observations and Analyses from the NCSALL/ESL Laboratory Classrooms
April 12 – 16, 2010
Kathy Harris of Portland State University and Dominique Brillanceau of Portland Community College facilitated a discussion on their work in the ESOL Lab School at Portland State University. One thread of the conversation focused on skills that learners with limited prior education need in order to benefit from language instruction. Some of these skills include learning how to “do school,” start activities, ask for help, and be an expert or novice in a classroom interaction.

Read the description, summary, and transcripts of the discussion.

BulletUpcoming Conferences

The following conferences may be of interest to practitioners working with adult English language learners.

American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
October 24 – 29, 2010
Clearwater Beach, Florida
American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
March 26 – 29, 2011
Chicago, Illinois
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
April 8 – 12, 2011
New Orleans, Louisiana


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