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ESOL Basics

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Do you need to know the basics of adult ESOL instruction? Through this online course, you will learn:

  • how to identify characteristics of adult ESOL learners,
  • effective methods of teaching languages,
  • the four language skills, and
  • how adults learn another language.

Through the online course format, you can learn at your own pace from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office. Facilitators, available to help you throughout the eight-week course, lead you through the content and technical aspects of the course.

Each week's lesson addresses a topic in adult ESOL instruction. Course activities include readings, assignments, and discussions. The lessons are sequential.

Lessons and resources included in the course:
  • Characteristics of Adult ESOL Learners
  • Methods and Needs Assessments
  • Lesson Planning
  • Teaching Speaking and Listening
  • Teaching Reading and Writing
  • Virginia's Adult ESOL Content Standards
  • The Integrated Lesson
  • Professional Development and Farewell

Completion of the course is designed to require a minimum of 32 hours of your time; approximately four hours a week. However, you may find that you want to spend longer with some topics. Also, please note that you will be required to complete an observation in an adult education classroom as part of your course requirements.

In order to receive the certificate for participating in the ESOL Basics training, you must complete all assignments, respond to each discussion question, and respond at least once to one of your classmates in any of the week’s discussion/assignment forums.

Remember that, although you will gain from doing the activities, you will learn most from discussions with your online colleagues and facilitator. To keep our discussions as productive as possible, you must stay within the timeframe outlined for this course.

This course is available to out-of-state participants for a fee of $175. To begin the registration process for out-of-state participants, please send an email to

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The Literacy Institute @ VCU  |  Contact Us  |  © 2012 VALRC. All rights reserved. Updated: 8-10-15
The VALRC, located at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU School of Education), is funded primarily through the VA Department of Education.