In Massachusetts, more than 200,000 multilingual adults are new to speaking English or speak little English. This restricts their ability to talk to medical providers, communicate with their children’s teachers, participate in their communities, or access workforce opportunities. There is an urgent need to connect these adults with opportunities for continuing education that meet their specific linguistic, cultural, and academic needs.

The SABES ESOL Curriculum and Instruction Professional Development Center at EDC (ESOL PD Center) is helping adult education programs in the Commonwealth reach and teach more adult multilingual learners who have goals to gain fluency in English. The ESOL PD Center designs and delivers professional development workshops, technical assistance (TA), and resources in many adult education topics, including best practices in ESOL instruction, principles of second-language acquisition, culturally responsive teaching, and digital literacy. By offering these opportunities, the ESOL PD Center supports both adult English learners and the teachers who serve them.

Key Activities

EDC’s SABES ESOL PD Center team does the following:

  • Creates professional development workshops and resources for adult education teachers in Massachusetts
  • Provides TA and coaching
  • Promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion in adult education in Massachusetts
  • Helps adult education teachers learn how to teach remotely


  • From 2015 to 2022, the SABES ESOL PD Center delivered over 200 distinct high-quality professional development offerings, reaching more than 4,000 participants. The Center was operated by Holyoke Community College and Quinsigamond College at that time.
  • In 2022, EDC assumed management of the SABES ESOL PD Center. With the support of staff who managed the Center from 2015 to 2022, EDC is on track for the SABES ESOL PD Center to expand its professional development offerings and reach even more participants.

Learn More

EDC Staff
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, managed by Adult and Community Learning Services