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We often assume that the reason some of our adult language learners struggle is that they have a learning disability, but in fact there are several other factors that may be impeding their learning. Known nationally for her research on learning difficulties and English language acquisition, our presenter will share evidence for at least seven other factors and provide classroom strategies for your to deal with them.


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ESOL teachers with some experience working with learners who have struggled

In every class of adult English learners (ELs), there are some who do not make progress, do not engage fully, struggle to master almost anything, or generally do not thrive where others do well. Although many teachers think that such problems are likely caused by learning disabilities, the presenter will share evidence to show that there are at least seven other factors that impede learning for adult ELs. Known nationally for her work in this intersection of learning difficulties and English language acquisition, the presenter will provide case studies illustrating a number of these factors and provide a quick “If this—then do that” list so you can help prevent learning failure for many learners. You will also be guided to rich sources of further information.

Learning Objectives: 

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

  • Explain why certain adult ELs’ learning challenges are not the result of a learning disability
  • Identify at least five of the seven causes of learning difficulty for adult ELs
  • Identify at least one way to respond to each of the five causes identified and in such a way that the ELs learning is not further challenged
  • Reflect on changes you can make in your own practice to support learning for adult ELs who have struggled
06/01/2017 - 9:30am to 3:30pm
Brockton Adult Learning Center
211 Crescent St.
Brockton, MA
PD Center: 
Topic Area: 
ESOL/English Language Learner
PDP Eligible: 
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