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Based on research from the Center for Applied Linguistics, this workshop focuses on the four recommended elements of vocabulary instruction and how to incorporate them into ESOL teaching practice. A major focus will be on practical applications for classrooms.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • Novice and experienced teachers of adult English language learners who would like to broaden and deepen their repertoire of vocabulary instruction techniques

This engaging three-part workshop is designed to increase understanding of and provide practical resources for vocabulary instruction for teachers of adult English language learners. The workshop will focus on techniques that foster the vocabulary acquisition needed by language learners and are aligned to the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards (MA ELPS). Using the research on vocabulary from the Center for Applied Linguistics, the workshop presenters describe how research-based techniques for vocabulary instruction can be incorporated into engaging activities in a variety of contexts for adult learners.

Part 1 (face-to-face workshop) Friday, May 17, 2019 9:30am - 3:30pm:

  • Reflect on research findings on vocabulary acquisition for ESOL learners (K–12) and relevance to adult ESOL learners
  • Consider connections between research, MA ELPS, and your learners
  • Identify four key elements of effective vocabulary instruction
  • Explore four elements of effective vocabulary instruction (a rich, motivating language environment; strategic instruction of high-utility words; word learning strategies; and the use of assessment to inform instruction)
  • Experiment with and practice a variety of learning activities and classroom practices designed to address these elements
  • Set goals for Part Two

Part 2 (self-directed, in your classroom and online in the Blackboard learning management system) May 18 - June 14, 2019:

  • Try new activities using the four elements of effective vocabulary instruction
  • Contribute to the group discussion on Blackboard, posting at least once
  • Reply thoughtfully to at least two posts from colleagues
  • Reference resources available on Blackboard, as needed

Part 3 (virtual session on Blackboard) June 14, 2019 9:00am - 10:00am:

  • Share with colleagues about effective vocabulary instruction strategies
  • Identify the most important takeaways and goals for implementing additional vocabulary instruction strategies in your teaching practice

The total number of PD hours for this offering is 10:

  • 5.5 for the face-to-face session
  • 3 hours for the self-directed session and Blackboard discussion board sharing
  • 1.5 hours for the final virtual session

PDPs are available upon request, along with attendance at all three sessions, contribution to the online discussion, classroom implementations, and a brief written reflection.

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Describe the four key elements of effective vocabulary instruction
  • Create a more comprehensive and mindful approach to vocabulary instruction
  • Create rich and motivating language environments and activities that promote word consciousness
  • Strategically choose and instruct high-utility words (tools provided!)
  • Promote independent word learning through explicit instruction of learning strategies
  • Use assessment to inform vocabulary instruction
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 
05/17/2019 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
06/14/2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am
Mount Wachusett Community College, Devens, Room 103
27 Jackson Rd.
Devens, MA 01434
PD Center: 


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