Adult English as a Second Language Programs: An Overview of Policies, Participants, and Practices.Report as inadecuate

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This research synthesis provides an overview of the issues central to adult English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) programs since researchers and policymakers have shown interest in exploring new possibilities for the ESL component. The following topics are discussed of the Adult Education Act (AEA). The following topics are discussed in the report: (1) the demand and need for services, with special attention to who, how many, and where members of the limited-Englist-proficiency target and (ESL) participant populations are: (2) administration, funding, and staffing issues; (3) curricular and instructional practices; (4) assessment, evaluation, and accountability structures; and (5) effectiveness of adult ESL programs. The information presented in the report was collected from a variety of sources. Four major conclusions were drawn from this examination. First, ESL is different from adult basic education and adult secondary education components of the AEA, which reinforces the importance of examining ESL individually in a study such as this. Next, ESL is a concern specific to a subset of states and urban areas as the ESL population is highly concentrated in individual cities and states and demands associated with this population tend to fall on the shoulders of the areas affected. Third, diversity exists among adult ESL programs in terms of population characteristics, administration and funding, and curricular and instructional approaches. Last, while this report provides background on ESL programs and services, in many cases there is limited knowledge about program approaches and practices on which to base future policy. (JL) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literary Education)

Descriptors: Accountability, Adult Education, Curriculum Design, English (Second Language), Financial Support, Limited English Speaking, Policy Formation, Program Administration, Program Effectiveness, Second Language Programs, Staff Development, Student Evaluation, Teaching Methods

Author: Rice, Jennifer King; Stavrianos, Michael


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