The Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), housed at CAL, was created to help states build their capacity to promote English language learning and academic achievement of adults learning English. Funded by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, CAELA accomplished its mission through the following tasks:
- Leading an initiative to build state capacity for improving the skills of teachers and administrators in adult ESL programs
- Developing an easy-to-use repository of resources (e.g., research studies, instructional curricula, information on language acquisition) that are accessible through the CAELA website
- Producing easily accessible materials that synthesize research and make applications to practice
- Developing a toolkit of training materials for professional developers
- Providing technical assistance to adult ESL teachers, programs, and states
CAELA helped states build capacity and sustainable systems to improve the skills of teachers and administrators in adult English as a second language (ESL) programs, and made research findings and research-based resources available to practitioners working with adult English language learners.
CAELA made research findings and evidence-based resources available to practitioners working with adult English language learners across the nation. CAL continues to make these resources available online as a service to the field.
Prior to CAELA, from 1989-2004, CAL was home to the National Center for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE), the only national center in the United States that focused on adult ESL language and literacy issues. NCLE served as a central resource for information, research, technical assistance, and publications for the adult ESL profession and the public at large.