Digital Promise Signature Workspace
Supporting Adult English Language Learners
Adult English-language learners' (ELLs) diversity and varying levels of English proficiency and education/literacy in their primary language requires diverse approaches to supporting their learning.
Taking learners' knowledge and skills into account
Primary Language refers to the language(s) a person has been exposed to from birth.
With increased life experiences, social interactions, and participation in education, adult learners bring a plethora of Background Knowledge to learning.
Composition is the ability to express ideas and information through writing.
Foundational Reading Skills, including phonics and decoding, refer to skills needed for effective reading comprehension.
Understanding adults' lived experiences and cultural backgrounds and connecting them to instructional practices helps all learners feel like valued members of the community.
Understanding that different individuals may experience and view the same event differently is a higher level cognitive skill that develops in adolescence and throughout adulthood.
Formative assessment is "assessment for learning" rather than "assessment of learning".
Visual reading aids, such as handouts and online guides, help learners to maintain Attention and serve to support the learning process.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and across contexts is critical for vocabulary acquisition.
Building upon and Growing learners' metacognitive skills
Metacognition is the ability to think about our internal cognitive processes, or to "think about thinking".
When learners provide constructive feedback on each other's work, they reflect on their own understanding, learn to give relevant suggestions, receive specific ways to improve, and engage in Metacognition.
Analyzing errors is especially beneficial in helping learners develop a Learner Mindset and critical thinking skills, which are a component of Problem Solving.
Giving learners the opportunity to explain their thinking process aloud helps them to solidify their comprehension, and move knowledge into their Long-term Memory.
When annotating, learners engage deeply with a text and make their thinking visible while reading, which supports Foundational Reading Skills.
addressing learners' foundational skills and resources
Socioeconomic Status (SES) refers to an individual or family's social standing as compared to other families.
An adult's Literacy Environment reflects the many different contexts in which they might learn.
Digital Literacy skills help adults access and navigate digital resources in both their personal and professional lives and can impact career and job trajectories.
Adult learners benefit from knowing there is an instructor available to provide support as needed, especially during asynchronous learning.
Teaching learners how to effectively search the internet is critical for helping them learn how to find accurate and relevant information and aids in developing information literacy.
In an increasingly digital world, adults who struggle with using technology can benefit from direct instruction for an array of digital tools.
Research shows that, along with traditional reading comprehension strategies, learners use unique strategies to read the non-linear, hyperlinked structure of online texts.
Addressing learners' Social-Emotional Needs
Many stereotypes exist about the academic performance of learners based on categories such as their race, gender, or age.
Emotions are complex psychological states stemming from a person's experiences.
Inhibition, a component of executive functioning, is the ability to suppress [Attention] to irrelevant input and to focus on pertinent stimuli or information.
Networking and supporting adult learners in expanding their social networks provide access to additional resources and Social Supports, which can impact their trajectory and Motivation.
Positive self-talk can support self-efficacy, optimism, Self-regulation, and a Learner Mindset.
Giving learners the opportunity to share their knowledge, skills, and understanding with their peers strengthens learning and increases Motivation while also building Social Supports.