Primary tabs


This three-part workshop explores the basic building blocks of English from the point of view of an English language learner, and offers strategies and activities for the English language teacher. 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 teaching tools and techniques in your practice and to receive professional development support while doing so.

This workshop is one of six based on the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL teachers who are interested in deepening their understanding of the components of the English language and in learning techniques for increasing their learners’ language awareness

In this three-part workshop, we explore the basic building blocks of English from the point of view of an English learner:

  • What are the sounds in English, and why are some of them so difficult to pronounce?
  • What kinds of vocabulary are useful to know, and what is the best way to learn them?
  • How does word order in English differ from word order in other languages?
  • How does English communication vary according to the context?

An understanding of these components of language will help you model appropriate language use and provide meaningful language awareness activities for your learners during ESOL instruction.

Face-to-face session activities include analysis of ESOL learner language and strategies for raising learners’ language awareness to meet the goals of the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.  

Next, in the online companion course facilitated by the workshop presenter, you will focus on teaching these various components of language and then reflect on your experiences. 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 (about a month after the face-to-face session) 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 of the following components is required:

  1. Face-to-face session: May 11, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. (5.5 hours)
  2. Online companion course: May11 - June 15 (1.5 hours)
  3. Webinar: June 15, 9–10 a.m. (1 hour)

Professional development hours: 8

For more information, contact Dori McCormack at

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Describe the four basic components of a language system (sounds, vocabulary, word order, and communicative context)
  • Explain common struggles that adult ESOL learners may have when encountering these components of language
  • Use teaching techniques and activities to present and address these components of language in an appropriate and communication-focused way
  • Build adult ESOL learners’ language awareness and college and career language skills through appropriate classroom activities
  • Plan action steps to expand your repertoire of teaching techniques that address the components of language

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 attend the workshop on Standard One: Principles of Second Language Acquisition. You can register for both offerings through the SABES Calendar.

05/11/2018 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
06/15/2018 - 9:00am to 10:00am
Northern Essex Community College
360 Merrimack Street - Room LRW 321
Lawrence, MA
PD Center: 
Topic Area: 
ESOL/English Language Learner
Professional Standards
PDP Eligible: 
Add to My Calendar