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This three-part workshop provides you with an overview of second language acquisition theories and principles with a focus on their application in the adult ESOL classroom. It includes a face-to-face session, an online companion course, and a follow-up webinar. Participation in all three components is required.

This workshop is one of six based on the MA Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Novice and experienced ESOL teachers and program directors who would like to deepen their understanding of the principles and theories underlying effective second language instruction

In the face-to-face workshop, we investigate research-based principles and practices that support second language acquisition (SLA) of adult ESOL learners. 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 you make effective instructional decisions. The workshop includes opportunities to collaborate on designing lessons that promote communication among learners and that address college and career readiness for adult English language learners.

Following the face-to-face workshop, you will apply aspects of these SLA principles to your teaching practice and will reflect on your experiences by contributing to an online companion course. The companion course will be facilitated by the workshop presenter, who will support you in applying what you have learned.

During the final webinar (about six to eight weeks after the workshop), you will share with one another your challenges and successes in applying SLA principles to your teaching practice, further refine your practice, receive guidance and information from the facilitator, and plan your next steps.

Dates and times:

  • Part 1: Face-to-face session: 1/20/2017 - 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
  • Part 2: Practice and online participation: 1/20/2017–3/17/2017
  • Part 3: Webinar: 3/17/2017 – 9:00–10:00 a.m.

To receive credit for this professional development activity, participation in all three components is required.

Professional development hours: 8

  • Face-to-face session: 5.5 hours
  • Participation in the online companion course: 1.5 hours
  • Follow-up webinar: 1 hour

An additional time commitment of approximately 2 hours is expected for the application of learning into your teaching practice.

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 used to encourage learners’ language development
  • Apply SLA principles to your teaching practice
  • Plan action steps to apply SLA principles in your teaching practice
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 

You are strongly encouraged to watch the online presentation Introduction to the Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL before attending any of the workshops based on the professional standards. You can register for this presentation through the SABES Calendar.

01/20/2017 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center (HCC)
206 Maple St., Room 402/403
Holyoke, MA 01040
PD Center: 


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