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We know that digital technology skills are necessary for all adults, including English language learners (ELLs), to navigate most areas of 21st century life and to advance in their education and careers. How equipped are you, as an English language teacher, to foster the development of your students’ digital literacy skills? This course will guide and support you as you learn how to integrate digital literacy activities and strategies into your English language classes.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL and ABE teachers who wish to supplement their ongoing instruction with authentic digital literacy activities at all levels of instruction
  • ESOL and ABE teachers who are comfortable adopting new technologies
  • ESOL and ABE teachers who have some fear of adopting new technologies

Modern life requires literacy and, specifically, digital literacy, for all adults, including our ELLs. For example, adult ELLs need to be able to use eHealth portals to make medical appointments, communicate with providers, request prescription refills, get test results, etc. Those who are parents need to communicate with their children’s school through email, text messaging, or school portals. In the workplace and in postsecondary education, they need to apply for jobs online, make digital presentations, conduct and evaluate research, etc. In addition, WIOA legislation and the CCR Standards both specify that digital literacy be part of adult education programs. Yet, for many of us, teaching digital literacy has not been part of our professional training or experience. 

Through a face-to-face meeting, video conferences, online discussions, a study of LINCS ESLPro materials, and support from Kathy Harris and your colleagues, you will learn and use digital literacy skills and strategies for integrating digital literacy into your English language instruction. Together we will work through some of the materials from the LINCS ESL Pro project, discuss the instructional strategies in them, design our own digital literacy activities, and try them in our classes with the support of the group. 

By using the same technologies in this course that you will incorporate into your classes, and with support from the virtual community and facilitator, you will develop comfort and skill with these digital tools. This course is helpful for those who are comfortable adopting new technologies as well as those who have some fear. 

The course begins with a face-to-face meeting and is followed by online discussions and video conferences every 2–3 weeks, culminating in an online presentation. Concurrently, all you will be implementing new activities in your classes. Plan to spend 2 hours per week in this course and also plan on being actively involved. Active participation is essential.

Prior to the first face-to-face meeting, you will be asked to read the issue brief Integrating Digital Literacy into Adult English Language Instruction at

  • Face-to-face meeting: March 31, 2017, 10:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.
  • Video Conference #1: April 14, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
  • Video Conference #2: May 5, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
  • Video Conference #3: May 26, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
  • Video Conference #4 and final presentation: June 9, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Develop skill and comfort with technologies to use in classrooms
  • Identify multiple lessons or units where digital literacy activities can be added
  • Design digital literacy activities to implement in the classroom and create associated materials
  • Practice digital literacy activities in the classroom
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the digital literacy activities and identify ways to improve them

Prior to the face-to-face meeting, we ask that you read the issue brief Integrating Digital Literacy into Adult English Language Instruction at

For the face-to-face meeting, you will need to bring a digital device. A laptop or tablet is easiest, but a smartphone will also work.

03/31/2017 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
TERC - Nelson Room
2067 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140
PD Center: 
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
College and Career Readiness
Digital Literacy
ESOL/English Language Learner
PDP Eligible: 
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