November 29, 2022

EDC to Lead Centers to Support Adult Learners in Massachusetts

EDC has been selected by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) unit to lead two centers that support adult learning in the Commonwealth.

EDC will become the new home of the English for Speakers of Other Languages Curriculum and Instruction Professional Development Center (ESOL PD Center), one of five learning and support centers that comprises the Massachusetts Adult Education Professional Development System (SABES). Previously, the ESOL PD center was operated by Holyoke Community College and Quinsigamond Community College.

Featuring a team of regional and national subject matter experts, the ESOL PD Center designs and delivers professional development workshops, technical assistance, and resources to teachers of adult English learners in Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, over 200,000 adults speak little to no English, and 30 percent of this population has less than a high school education. Dori McCormack, director of the ESOL PD Center, noted there is a tremendous need for high-quality English language learning opportunities for adults.

“Even for those with advanced degrees, having limited English skills is a significant barrier and can restrict their ability to talk to medical providers, communicate with their children’s teachers and help with their homework, or access workforce opportunities that provide family sustaining wages,” McCormack said. “The ESOL PD Center is committed to the success of adult English learners and to the teachers that serve them.”

In leading the Center, EDC will continue to develop and deliver ACLS-aligned professional development courses on several adult education topics, including:

  • Principles of second language acquisition
  • Culturally responsive teaching
  • Teaching students with learning differences, difficulties, and disabilities
  • Best practices in ESOL instruction
  • Digital literacy
  • Assessment

EDC will also continue to lead the SABES Professional Development Communication Center,  which disseminates learning opportunities and resources for educators of adult learners in the Commonwealth. EDC has operated the PD Communication Center since 2015.

“Adult educators are some of the most dedicated and least heralded teachers in the teaching profession,” says Heidi Larson, director of the SABES PD Communication Center. “We feel very fortunate that EDC will be able to continue supporting their professional learning.”