Adult Education

Statement of Purpose

TESOL's Adult Education Interest Section (AEIS) discusses issues relevant to professionals serving adult English language learners; issues include national standards and legislation, immigration and citizenship, assessment, professional development, instructional best practices for low literacy learners, best practices in curriculum and instruction for adult language learners, workforce and career pathway programming, and integration of life skills embedded with language instruction.

Teachers of adults with limited English proficiency work in a variety of nontraditional educational settings. Programs are administered by city, state, province, country, federal, and privately funded programs. Organizational structures, standards, and goals follow widely different patterns. AEIS serves the interests of adult students in ESL programs, their teachers, and administrators. AEIS tries to bring together knowledge, precepts, and skills of two distinct but compatible areas: adult education and ESL. 

Successful adult educators have had to meet the following challenges:
  • multilevel and multilingual classes
  • irregular attendance of working adult students
  • continuous intake and exit of students
  • students with widely differing educational, social, cultural, and economic backgrounds and ages
  • lack of materials, resources, and equipment
  • low social status in the educational establishment
  • an uninformed public


  • Develop an awareness of the needs and role of adult education among educators, legislators, and the general public by sharing expertise, insights, and experience
  • Address priority topics through workshops, demonstrations, open forums, and discussion sessions
  • Assume an advocacy role on any issue requested by the IS membership and deemed appropriate by the steering committee
  • Cooperate with other ISs to serve common needs of students and their families
  • Expand knowledge and understanding of adult education and ESL through research and intercommunication

Leaders, 2017-2018

Cochairs: Elizabeth Schade and Thu Tran
Cochair-Elects: Nicholas Hadden and Rob Sheppard
Past Cochairs: Tunde Csepelyi and Rosie Verratti
​Member-at-Large: Rameshor Bhandari, Maggie Bullock Oliveira, and Raichle Farrelly
Newsletter Editors: Bryan Woerner and Sarah Russ
Community Manager: