Research Agenda for Adult ESL
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This research agenda reflects the thoughtful comments of many adult ESL educators who responded via e-mail, regular mail, and telephone or in person wherever the agenda was posted or discussed. Some of you we know personally, but the majority of you we do not. We are grateful for your input. You represent the spectrum of stakeholders in the field from learners to policy makers. Most of you are practitioners, researchers, or program administrators. Because of your input, we are confident that this publication represents the voice of the field.
This research agenda for the adult ESL field is designed to assist researchers in their effort to formulate research designs for specific projects, provide potential funders of research with priorities and program needs, and encourage adult education practitioners not only to become active partners in the teaching and learning process but also to engage in research on ways to improve educational opportunities for adults learning English in work, family, and community contexts.
Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction is the fastest growing area of adult education (National Center for Education Statistics, 1997). Although much is known about “best practices” in adult ESL, there are still many unanswered questions about the adult English language learner, program design, teacher preparation, instruction, and assessment. The answers to these questions are critical, not only to improve the effectiveness of adult ESL programs but also to improve the lives of adult ESL learners.