Creating Equitable Access to Remote Adult ESOL: Multiple Contexts, Distinct Populations, and Diverse Purposes

World Education led a six-month landscape scan in the winter of 2021 to elucidate promising remote ESOL instruction with the potential to reshape the delivery of ESOL in the months and years to come. In response to our national call for participation in the Remote Adult ESOL Learning Project, 52 program nominations were received, reflecting different institutional settings, organizations, student populations, geographies, and approaches, with one program receiving two nominations. Of these, 35 programs were selected for interviews and an analytical review process. 

In this paper, we report on a study of remote adult ESOL delivery through the lens of the varied organizational settings in which they operate and the supports needed to engage distinct ESOL populations (e.g., the elderly, people seeking citizenship, and Deaf English learners). Our purpose is to offer concrete examples of programming and instructional practice that best support equitable access to technology-rich, well-supported ESOL instruction that can be expanded to reach more people.

This brief is complemented by eight program profile case studies; a Practice and Policy Brief that highlights key findings and innovative practices and models, names and discusses facilitating conditions, identifies areas where more research is needed, and offers policy recommendations that can facilitate scaling up effective remote instructional models for English language learning; and a Promising ESOL Practices document that highlights specific practices and innovations from the programs we interviewed.

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