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This workshop provides an overview of second language acquisition theories and principles with a focus on their application in the adult ESOL classroom. It is one of six workshops developed to support novice and experienced ESOL teachers in gaining proficiency in and mastery of the MA Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL.


In this workshop, we investigate research-based principles and practices that support adult ESOL learners’ second language acquisition (SLA). Our exploration is guided by some of the most intriguing questions that ESOL teachers face:  What stages do learners go through as they acquire English?  What individual factors may impact learners’ progress? What is authentic interaction and why is it so effective in language acquisition?  What kinds of questions, corrective feedback, and instructional strategies can we use to encourage language development?  The answers to these questions, gleaned from SLA research, will help ESOL teachers make effective instructional decisions. The workshop includes collaborative opportunities to design communicative tasks that promote meaningful interaction and address the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Identify SLA principles that support effective ESOL instruction
  • Describe the importance of authentic interaction in SLA
  • Identify the stages of learners’ interlanguage development
  • Describe how “teacher talk,” questioning strategies, and corrective feedback can be best utilized to encourage learners’ language
  • Plan action steps to apply SLA principles in your teaching practice

Participants are encouraged to watch the online Introduction to the Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL before attending any of the workshops based on the standards. Register for the online Introduction through the SABES Calendar.

05/20/2016 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
Picknelly Adult & Family Education Center
206 Maple Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
PD Center: 


SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area: 
ESOL/English Language Learner
PDP Eligible: 
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