21st Century Skills and Strategies for the Adult English Language Learner: Integrating the English Language Proficiency Standards with Contextualized Task-Based Learning

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Date(s) - 08/30/2017
8:30 am - 3:00 pm



Facilitator: Jayme Adelson-Goldstein, Lighthearted Learning

Audience: Teachers with Beginning Levels of English Language Learners

Time: Registration at 8:30pm, Training begins at 9am.   Lunch will be provided.

Location: PHA’s ETC at 144 Dodge St., Providence. RI

To register, click HERE!

All adults need a variety of skills to navigate the complexity of the 21st century, including the ability to build knowledge from complex text, engage in professional discourse, and demonstrate collaborative and critical thinking skills. These skills are essential for our adult learners’ success as students and community members, parents and care givers, and employees and entrepreneurs. In fact, our learners may already possess many of these skills, but lack the ability to demonstrate them in English. By integrating this type of skill instruction into our adult ESOL courses at all levels, we are respecting the range of our learners’ life goals and acknowledging the time learners need to acquire the language needed to demonstrate these skills.

This day-long professional development session focuses on ways that task-based instruction expands and refines our beginning learners’ 21st century skills. Building on the instructional shifts in the College and Career Readiness (CCR) Standards, you will have the opportunity to analyze and apply the new English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards’ integrated approach to instructional planning, then work with contextualized tasks that support your learners’ achievement of the beginning-level CCR and ELP standards. Throughout the session, you’ll discuss differentiation options and collaborate on developing contextualized instruction relevant to your own teaching context(s).

During the day, we will explore tasks that provide opportunities for learners to:

  • assess their 21st century skills;
  • identify their transferrable skills;
  • focus on language and learning strategies;
  • build their academic language;
  • employ basic digital literacy skills, and
  • demonstrate their critical thinking, problem-solving and soft skills.

Participants are asked to bring a lesson objective to develop* or a lesson outline they would like to enhance as well as a smartphone, tablet or laptop for interactive digital activities.  Participants will use Google Drive to collaborate during and after the session. While a gmail account is not required for collaboration on Google Drive, it is helpful.


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

  • Use one or more task-types to help learners identify their interests, future goals and transferrable skills.
  • Plan and deliver direct (and task-based) contextualized instruction with a focus on strategies for accessing complex oral texts, level-appropriate complex written texts, and complex images.
  • Infuse contextualized instruction with basic digital tasks and tools to develop or enhance learners’ digital literacy.
  • Use checklists, templates and rubrics to plan team tasks that engage learners’ critical thinking and allow them to demonstrate their problem-solving skills.
  • Correlate, with relative ease, your contextualized task-based instruction to ELP and CCR standards.

* Ideally, beginning level objectives would include a skill focus, context, communication task, and be assessable. For example, the objective: “By the end of the lesson, learners will be able to state two or more of their past jobs and/or workplace skills when asked about their work experience.” has a speaking focus, a job search context, and the communication task of stating work experience. The teacher could assess learners’ completion of the objective by 1) observing a role play or pair practice, or 2) having learners record their statements and email or text the file to their teacher, or 3) conducting individual learner interviews.