Primary tabs


This three-part workshop explores the basic building blocks of English from the point of view of an English language learner and offers strategies and activities for the English language teacher. The series includes a face-to-face session, an online companion course, and a follow-up webinar. Through participating in all three components, you will have opportunities to try out new teaching tools and techniques in your practice and receive professional development support while doing so.

This workshop is one of six based on the Massachusetts Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOL.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL teachers who are interested in deepening their understanding of the components of the English language and learning techniques for increasing their learners’ language awareness

In this workshop, we explore the basic building blocks of English from the point of view of an English language learner:

  • What are the sounds in English, and why are some of them so difficult to pronounce?
  • What kinds of vocabulary are useful to know?
  • How does word order in English differ from word order in other languages?
  • How does English communication vary according to the context?

An understanding of these components of language will help teachers to model appropriate language use and to provide meaningful language awareness activities for learners during ESOL instruction. Workshop activities include analysis of ESOL learner language and strategies for raising learners’ language awareness to meet the goals of the CCR Standards for Adult Education.  

Following the face-to-face workshop, you will apply some strategies and techniques to your teaching practice and will reflect on your experiences by contributing to an online companion course. The companion course will be facilitated by the workshop presenter, who will support you in applying what you have learned.

During the final webinar (about six to eight weeks after the workshop), you will share with one another your challenges and successes working with learners on the components of language, further refine your teaching practice, receive guidance and information from the facilitator, and plan your next steps.

Here is the schedule:

  • Part 1: Face-to-face session: Friday, May 26, World Education, Boston: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Part 2: Practice and online participation: May 27th-June 23rd
  • Part 3: Webinar: June 23rd 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

To receive credit for this professional development activity, participation in all three components is required. Professional development hours: 8

  • Face-to-face session: 5.5 hours
  • Participation in the online companion course: 1.5 hours
  • Follow-up webinar: 1 hour

For more information, contact Dori McCormack at 

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the four basic components of a language system (sounds, vocabulary, word order, and communicative context)
  • Explain common struggles that adult ESOL learners may have when encountering these components of language
  • Use teaching techniques and activities to present and address these components of language in an appropriate and communication-focused way
  • Build adult ESOL learners’ language awareness and college and career language skills through appropriate classroom activities
  • Plan action steps to expand repertoire of teaching techniques that address the components of language

Before attending any of the workshops on the ESOL Professional Standards, you are encouraged to watch the online presentation Introduction to the Professional Standards for Teachers of Adult ESOLand attend the workshop on Standard One:  Principles of Second Language Acquisition. You can register for both of these presentations through the SABES Calendar.

05/26/2017 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
World Ed Room 9C
44 Farnsworth St.
Boston, MA
PD Center: 
Topic Area: 
ESOL/English Language Learner
PDP Eligible: 
Add to My Calendar