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This three-part workshop guides you through a systematic approach to curriculum development based on the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards (MA ELPS), and clearly articulated learner goals and outcomes. 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 this approach as you plan your instruction 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:

  • ESOL teachers and program directors interested in developing curricula for their ESOL program

An effective ESOL curriculum for adult learners is based on standards designed to help them reach their goals as working people, engaged community participants, and lifelong learners. The lessons derived from a responsive and engaging ESOL curriculum provide opportunities for learners to practice and use new language in preparation for use outside the classroom.

In the face-to-face workshop, we focus on using a learner-driven curriculum design process to:

  • Review program goals
  • Develop curriculum scope and sequence
  • Make connections to the MA ELPS

Activities include hands-on practice with developing contextualized thematic curriculum units that allow learners to progress toward their personal, academic, and employment goals. Instructional resources and materials are shared to minimize the need to reinvent the wheel.

Next, in the online companion course facilitated by the workshop presenter, you will apply what you learned in the face-to-face session as you write your own unit and/or lesson plans.  You will have opportunities to reflect on your experiences and contribute to an online companion course.

The companion course includes additional resources, videos illustrating several strategies and techniques, 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 the curriculum materials you’ve been working on; receive feedback, guidance, and information from the facilitator and colleagues; and plan next steps to further refine your curriculum.

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 

  • Online companion course: 1.5 hours

  • Webinar: 1 hour


For more information, contact Dori McCormack at

    Learning Objectives

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

  • Identify the curriculum components used in your ESOL program and those required in MA ESOL programs
  • Use the MA ELP Standards to guide curriculum development and instruction
  • Use the Backward Design approach to short-term and long-term instructional planning
  • Plan action steps to develop a standards-based curriculum
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s)

Before attending any workshop on the ESOL Professional Standards, you are encouraged to watch the online presentation Introduction to the Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL and How Do Adult Learn English? An exploration of Second Language Acquisition Principles.  You can register for both offerings through the SABES Calendar.


Plymouth Public Library
132 South Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
United States

PD Center
SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum & Instruction PD Center
Topic Area
Curriculum Development
Curriculum Frameworks/Standards
ESOL/English Language Learner