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In this three-part workshop, we look at ESOL instruction through the lens of intercultural awareness to identify beliefs about language learning and teaching, the roles of the teacher and student in the classroom, and the cultural backgrounds and educational goals of our learners. The series includes a face-to-face session, an online companion course, and a follow-up webinar. Through participating in all three components, you will have opportunities to try out new ways to integrate intercultural awareness into your teaching practice and receive professional development support while doing so.

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:

  • All ESOL teachers and program directors but particularly those who believe they have learned all there is to learn about intercultural awareness

For ESOL teachers, intercultural awareness leads to a deeper understanding of the impact that values, beliefs, perceptions, and behavioral norms can have on language teaching and learning. The activities in the face-to-face session focus on increasing your intercultural awareness so that you are more equipped to facilitate learners transitioning from their home cultures and languages to those of the United States. 

Next, in the online companion course facilitated by the workshop presenter, you will focus on applying new strategies and techniques to your teaching practice that reflect your increased intercultural awareness and then reflect on your experiences. The companion course includes additional resources, teacher demonstration videos, a forum to ask questions (and have them answered), and a discussion board to share ideas with colleagues. A minimum of one post and two replies in the companion course is expected. 

The final session (3-4 weeks after the workshop) is a one-hour webinar, in which you will share a strategy or technique that you've been applying in your teaching practice; receive feedback, guidance, and information from the facilitator and colleagues; and plan next steps to further refine your practice. 

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

  • Face-to-face session: 5.5 hours  (10/18/19, 9:30 - 3:30)
  • Online companion course: 1.5 hours  (10/18/19 - 11/8/19)
  • Webinar: 1 hour     (11/8/19, 9:00 - 10:00)
  • An additional time commitment of approximately 2 hours is expected for the application of learning to your teaching practice. PDPs are available upon request and with completion of all three components and a final project, to be determined by the presenter, participant, and ESOL PD Center director.

Total Professional Development Hours: 8-10

For more information, contact Dori McCormack at

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Distinguish between surface culture and deep culture, and explain how these aspects might arise and be addressed in ESOL classes
  • Connect learners' and your cultural beliefs with observable behaviors in classroom interactions to negotiate differences between cultural expectations
  • Identify and reflect on your personal cultural beliefs and expectations that may influence your instructional decisions as a teacher and impact student learning
  • Use teaching techniques and activities that integrate learners' identities as multilingual and multicultural individuals, while using immigrant experiences as a context for language skill development
  • Plan action steps to apply principles of intercultural awareness in your teaching practice
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 

Before attending any of the workshops on the ESOL Professional Standards, you are encouraged to watch the online presentation Introduction to the Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL and attend the workshop on Standard One: Principles of Second Language Acquisition. You can register for both of these presentations through the SABES calendar at

10/18/2019 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
11/08/2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am
Quinsigamond Community College, Administration Building Room B031
670 West Boylston St.
Worcester, MA 01606
PD Center: 


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