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ERIC Number: ED506584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb-26
Pages: 163
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Passing the Torch: Strategies for Innovation in Community College ESL
Chisman, Forrest P.; Crandall, JoAnn
Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy (NJ1)
This document is the result of two years of intensive, dedicated work by a remarkable team of nearly two dozen researchers. It takes the first steps on a long overdue journey to fully understanding the realities and promise of ESL program service in community colleges across the nation. The report offers an in-depth look into several community college ESL programs, with a focus on "non-credit ESL." All of the programs offer high quality ESL instruction and are considered exemplary according to a range of criteria presented in the Introduction. The study examines a rich variety of innovative and successful programs and strategies in use in these institutions--and considers them in terms of generating learning gains, retaining students, and bringing about transitions to further education. The paper also examines the ins and outs of all this activity in a way that gives those providing adult ESL service a menu of ideas and concrete suggestions for their own program improvement purposes. Among the effective strategies examined in this report are high intensity instruction, learning outside the classroom, and the use of "learner-centered thematic" curricula. Special attention is given to curricular integration, co-enrollment, vocational ESL (VESL) programs, and the Spanish GED. Issues of faculty training, development, and quality are examined, and recommendations are given for "engineering innovation" in ESL colleges and programs. The study finds that, excellent as the programs studied are, their outcomes are not always as great as they could be. It identifies some reasons for that, and looks at some of key barriers to taking the successful programs and practices to scale--such as inadequate ESL funding, administrative and policy issues, limits in available ESL assessment tools, lack of peer learning opportunities for planners and practitioners, and a paucity of fundamentally-needed research, especially longitudinal research. A major section of the report deals with costs and funding issues--calling not only for a substantial increase in funding for adult ESL, but more targeted funding. Five appendices are included: (1) Executive Summary; (2) Acknowledgments; (3) College Fact Sheet, Colleges Participating in CAAL Meeting June 9-10, 2005; (4) Innovative Practices Documents by Colleges in CAAL Community College ESL Project; and (5) VESL Immersion Program (VIP) College of San Francisco. (Contains 40 footnotes.) [Additional funding provided by The McGraw-Hill Companies and Dollar General Corporation.]
Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy. 1221 Avenue of the Americas 46th Floor, New York, NY 10020. Tel: 212-512-2362; Fax: 212-512-2610; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Ford Foundation
Authoring Institution: Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida; Illinois; Massachusetts; Washington