The 2010s: Promoting Access, Equity, and Mutual Understanding

As it had done since its founding, CAL devoted its efforts during its sixth decade to meeting the needs of a changing world by applying research to address language and culture in educational and social concerns, working with collaborators to find research-based solutions to real-world issues.

CAL adopted a new mission statement: Promoting access, equity, and mutual understanding for linguistically and culturally diverse people around the worldIts mission reflected these core values:

  • Languages and cultures are important individual and societal resources.
  • All languages, dialects, and cultures deserve to be respected and cultivated.
  • Multilingualism is beneficial for individuals and society.
  • Effective language education should be widely available.
  • Accurate information should be the basis for policies and practices that involve language and culture.
  • Language skills and cultural knowledge should be valued in work situations.
  • Language and cultural differences should not be obstacles to personal or group success or well-being.

These values underpinned CAL’s participation in strategic partnerships and efforts to strengthen the quality of language teaching and learning, and to create access and equity for diverse groups in our society.

Engaging in Collaboration and Strategic Partnerships

CAL upheld its tradition of collaboration by working with partners to address language-related challenges in education:

  • continuing to serve as the primary assessment arm of the WIDA Consortium to design, develop, pilot-test, field-test, and finalize innovative, computer-delivered English language proficiency assessments for Grades K-12 that are compatible with college- and career-readiness standards; and
  • convening theNational Dual Language Forum to work closely with like-minded organizations dedicated to supporting dual language education.

Strengthening the Quality of Language Teaching and Learning

Maintaining its focus on building high-quality language learning programs, CAL expanded its professional development offerings, including customized workshops, Institutes and online courses through CAL Solutions.

CAL Solutions: Research-based Solutions for Language Teaching and Learning

CAL specializes in providing effective, research-based solutions for educators and practitioners working with language learners of all ages. These service offerings expanded throughout the 2010s, addressing a variety of key topics of interest to educators and with resources that combine authentic classroom video with hands-on strategies for teachers. Participants receive a CAL Certificate of Completion that can often be used to obtain continuing education credits from the participant’s school or district.

Featured solutions include:

  • A wide range of onsite and customizable workshops and services.
  • A growing number of CAL Institutes in Washington, DC
  • A selection of self-paced online courses designed to make knowledge building and professional development affordable and convenient.

Key areas of focus include:

  • Adult English Language Education CAL focuses on the language and cultural skills that these adults must develop to succeed in careers, continuing education, and the community. CAL’s expertise spans all proficiency levels, from ESL in adult basic education through English for business and professional purposes.
  • Bilingual and Dual Language Education For educators in bilingual and dual language programs, the Spanish Literacy Institute provided an awareness of Spanish linguistic features and an understanding of Spanish language arts standards to help them teach academic language and literacy effectively in Spanish to students at all levels of proficiency.
  • Cultural Proficiency CAL’s Communities of Inclusion approach was developed by our subject matter experts based on decades of connecting research and practice and working with educators of language learners in U.S. schools and with immigrant and refugee populations from around the globe. CAL’s experienced staff also work collaboratively with educators to weave in elements of cultural proficiency into all our professional development service offerings.
  • PreK-12 English Language Education Improving the teaching of English has always been a core activity for CAL, offering a variety of research-based resources related to the education of English language learners in PreK-12 programs. Services range from curriculum design for English learners to professional development for instructors.
  • Language Assessment CAL has drawn on years of experience to create all types of assessments across all grade levels, including oral assessments, paper-based tests, computerized assessments, and hybrid assessment instruments. CAL offers assessment training, both face-to-face and online, both on how to use our assessments and on assessments in general.
  • Newcomers: Immigrant and Refugee Integration Since 1975, CAL continues to build on its legacy of helping immigrant and refugee newcomers by developing effective strategies and practical tools for educators working with newcomers.  
  • Sheltered Instruction and CAL SIOP SIOP workshops helped early childhood teachers meet the unique needs of young English learners and improve their school readiness.
  • World Language Education CAL staff conduct research and develop practical solutions to support successful language programs for learners at all levels of instruction (early childhood, elementary, secondary, higher education, and adult education).

 Research and Project Work

To inform the Spanish language work, CAL conducted a 3-year research study to identify successful Spanish/English dual language programs by analyzing statewide longitudinal data in the two program languages and documenting characteristics of dual language education in high-achieving programs, based on case studies.

Education Connections: CAL launched and hosted an initiative known as Education Connections, an open network of educators promoting standards-aligned sheltered instructional methods to support the language and content learning needs of English learners.

With the University of Oregon’s Global and Online Education Department, the TESOL International Association, a team of Local Education Agencies, and SRI International, CAL collaborated in a project to promote educator networks focusing on standards-based instruction for English learnersin Grades K-12. CAL convened and facilitated networks of teachers to support implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and state-based standards to improve educational outcomes for English learners. 

Featured Publications

  • Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education 3rd edition
  • Profiles of Dual Language Education in the 21st Century
  • What Teachers Need to Know about Language, 2nd edition

Creating Access and Equity for Diverse Groups in Society

Around the world, people are increasingly interested in acquiring proficiency in English to further their academic and career goals. Companies seek to increase the English proficiency of their workforce to attract new business. In this decade, CAL helped educators teaching English in different countries and contexts:

  • In the Middle East, CAL worked with universities and businesses to customize professional development programs for English teachers. Working closely with client partners, CAL conducted evaluations of their English programs to determine how well the program was meeting its goals and where improvements might be needed.
  • In Mexico, CAL worked with the Ministry of Education to improve the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language via their pilot program, Programa Nacional de Inglés en Educación Básica, and developed assessments to evaluate the English proficiency of teachers and students in Mexican states to determine how their needs can be met.